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Airforwarders Association issues warning about tightening US security regulations

Cargo shippers have been warned that they must be ready for a change in US regulations this October that will impact large freight shipments.

The Airforwarders Association (AfA) has issued a statement ahead of a temporary Impracticable to Screen Amendment that will come to an end on October 31.

Brandon Fried, executive director of the AfA, urged shippers to prepare for the US security enhancements that will apply to certain types of freight on international all-cargo flights.

From November cargo that cannot be screened using traditional methods due to size or volume restrictions will not be eligible for transportation unless shippers are enrolled in one of Transport Security Administration (TSA)’s authorised cargo security programs.

Shippers can join one of the programs on a voluntary basis to gain trusted status.

“There will only be three options after October 31; join one of the programs, use sea freight instead of air freight, or don’t ship cargo at all,” Fried told delegates at the CNS Partnership Conference in Miami.

“TSA is holding the line on this, there will be no extension. We have started in-person meetings, as well as webinars to explain the options and we need forwarders to work with their shipper customers and support them to work with TSA and join a program.”

AfA will be holding its next face-to-face meeting about the security programs on June 27 in Chicago, working with the International Air Cargo Association of Chicago and the Chicago Brokers and Forwarders Association, followed by events in New York and Los Angeles.

On June 30, 2021, TSA mandated that all air cargo originating in the US and destined for non-US locations be screened or secured before being loaded on to an all-cargo aircraft.

This mandate for the air cargo supply chain addressed an international requirement that all cargo, including, but not limited to, unique items such as drums containing chemicals and large industrial equipment, be screened or secured against potential threats to aviation.

John Beckius, TSA executive director, air cargo division, policy, plans and engagement, said: “To support this effort, TSA is providing an opportunity for additional shippers, assemblers, and manufacturers to apply security during the packaging process that will be sufficient to reduce the need for screening later in the supply chain.

“To participate in this option, these entities will need to become a Certified Cargo Screening Facility, which means they will be certified by TSA to assemble, pack, secure, and tender cargo for air transport in a secured manner such that no additional screening will be required.”

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