TSA Finalizes Air Cargo Screening Mandate

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented the Final Rule for the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act) air cargo screening mandate. This action finalizes the Interim Final Rule (IFR) put into place in September 2009. The IFR created the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP), which TSA established to fulfill the security requirements of the 9/11 Act for domestic air cargo.

TSA began piloting CCSP in February 2009 to assist air carriers in meeting the 50% screening milestone in effect at the time and allowing entities in the air cargo supply chain to screen cargo offsite and transport it to the airport securely without the need for rescreening. Air carriers must verify that the chain of custody is intact upon acceptance of screened cargo from a CCSP participant. Since August 2010, 100% of all air cargo carried on passenger aircraft departing U.S. airports is screened.

Under the finalized rule and the initial IFR, air cargo entities may apply to become a Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF). CCSFs carry out a TSA-approved security program and must adhere to strict chain-of-custody requirements to secure cargo from the time it is screened until it is loaded onto a passenger aircraft. They must also implement a multi-layered security program that includes appointing security coordinators, strict access controls and vetting of key personnel. TSA conducts routine inspections to determine whether CCSFs are complying with requirements.

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