On June 30, 2021, TSA issued a regulatory change that mandated 100% screening of air cargo originating in the U.S. and destined for non-U.S. locations that are transported on all-cargo aircraft.
TSA approved amendments for Impractical to Screen (ITS) cargo that were put in place to assist the industry in meeting the June 30, 2021, regulatory requirement. However, these amendments expire on October 31, 2023, and will not be extended.
Companies that have benefited from the ITS amendment may face new challenges when shipping their goods via air cargo after October 31, 2023. A possible solution is for them to apply to become a CCSF with the TSA.
Changes are Coming for Some Shippers
In accordance with TSA’s air cargo security Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP), all air cargo shipments that were previously transported with the ITS amendment will be required to be accepted into the air cargo supply chain through a secure supply chain process. The CCSP enables Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSFs) to screen cargo prior to acceptance by an Indirect Air Carrier (IAC), Aircraft Operator or Foreign Air Carrier for transport on either a passenger or all-cargo aircraft.
According to the TSA, air cargo accepted from a CCSF does not require additional screening and can be transported by either a passenger or all-cargo aircraft destined for a non-U.S. destination.
TSA does not require CCSFs to purchase screening equipment, but CCSFs may have to buy screening equipment to screen cargo for explosives (unless they choose to perform a physical search of the cargo).
“TSA wants to encourage shippers to become certified cargo-screening facilities themselves in order to be able to screen the ‘impractical to screen’ (ITS) cargo that has been covered by the amendment,” said Brenda Peek, Senior Manager, Corporate Trade Compliance at DB Schenker, which is working to spread the word about this change and also talking to its customers about the upsides of developing their own certified cargo-screen facilities.
“When the amendment expires in October, it may cause some serious issues for companies that suddenly find themselves needing to get their air cargo screened,” said Peek. “If the cargo isn’t screened, it can’t be transported by air.”