AfA calls for the TSA to urgently work with shippers regarding cargo export legislations


Panellists at Airforwarders Association’s (AfA) Annual General Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee have called for the TSA to urgently work with shippers to address the impact of mandated freighter cargo screening for exports taking force from November 2023.

The requirement that all such cargo must be screened has been in effect since June 2021, but up until now the sector has been working with a limited amount of TSA alternative security measures. However, the TSA has stated that these security measures will expire at the end of October and won’t be renewed.

Panellists concurred that the Certified Cargo Standard Security Screening Program (CCSSSP) is the only viable way to meet new screening requirements, but much preparatory work and communication with shippers must be carried out by the TSA in order to make CCSSSP ready for the 1st November 2023 deadline.

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Panellists expressed concern that the TSA’s proposed Secure Packing Facility (SPF) initiative is not a viable solution for shippers or air freight forwarders who tender cargo that is difficult to screen for freighter export.

“All security programs across the various segments of the air cargo supply chain need to be aligned,” Brandon Fried, Executive Director, AfA, said. “Industry needs TSA’s strong support in messaging the shippers that the CCSSSP – which would regulate shippers tendering cargo that is challenging to screen using existing approved security methods – is the only realistic available option to continue to move their cargo.”

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For this to happen, panellists agreed that the TSA needed to update and coordinate the CCSSSP acceptance and handling elements into the various freighter security programs, since the current CCSSSP has been in place only for passenger air carriers since its inception in 2009.

In addition, the TSA also needs to update the regulatory framework to include freighters. The panel also pointed out that, with the changes in overall air cargo supply chain in the past 15 to 20 years, compounded by the rapid growth and volumes of e-commerce traffic, the current definition of ‘shipper’ does not align with the realities of today’s global air cargo business.

The CCSSSP is a practical supply chain solution, which provides security while ensuring the flow of commerce. Certified cargo screening facilities must complete a TSA-approved security program and adhere to strict chain of custody requirements.