The U.S. Transportation Security Administration on Thursday notified air carriers, freight forwarders and shippers that they no longer will be required to report screening levels for air cargo loaded on passenger aircraft, according to The International Air Cargo Association. The decision relieves the private sector of a regulatory burden that cost companies money, it said.
The 9/11 Implementation Act in 2007 mandated that 100 percent of cargo on commercial passenger aircraft operating through U.S. airports to be screened. The TSA and industry reached the 100 percent threshold in August 2010 for domestic traffic. The deadline went into effect for international flights in December 2012. At Congress' direction, the TSA required air carriers, as well as forwarders and shippers participating in the voluntary Certified Cargo Screening Program, to report the amount of cargo uplifted and the percentage screened for each airport. A subsequent appropriations bill included language allowing the TSA administrator to make a determination when 100 percent screening compliance had been achieved and lift the requirement for continued reporting.
TIACA last fall called for an end what it considers a redundant reporting requirement because the industry has achieved the law's goal.
"This will significantly relieve the reporting burden on industry, saving many labor and IT hours,” TIACA Secretary-General Douglas Brittin, said in a statement. "We applaud this move as a positive step towards adopting a risk-based approach versus forensic compliance.”
Brittin, who until a year ago headed the air cargo program at TSA, told American Shipper
the decision doesn't release companies from maintaining records, but will save time and resources compiling data from each location and transmitting it by the deadline.
The TSA is also expected to realize some savings from not having to analyze all the industry data, verify it and package it in reports to Congress.
Carriers can now focus on screening and not filing paperwork, Brittin added.
The TSA will ensure ongoing compliance with the screening requirements through regular and ongoing inspections of screening facilities.