100% Air Cargo Screening Goes into Effect August 1, 2010

The Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) mandate requiring 100 percent of cargo transported on a passenger aircraft be screened went into effect on August 2, 2010. The law requires that "all air cargo must be screened at the piece level prior to transport on a passenger aircraft for flights originating in the United States." 

While, initially, passenger airlines and their handling agents were the only facilities approved to screen passenger cargo, TSA created the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) to help industry deal with the screening requirements. CCSP enables Indirect Air Carriers (IAC's), shippers and Independent Cargo Screening Facilities (ICFs) to screen cargo for flights originating in the U.S. Participating facilities are fully regulated and inspected for compliance. There are about 740 locations that have been certified to screen cargo and are currently handling over 40 percent of the screen cargo volume by weight. 

The August 1 deadline applies to U.S. originating cargo only and not to cargo inbound to the U.S. TSA recognizes that 100 percent screening of U.S.-inbound cargo by the August deadline was not attainable, however, TSA stated it seeks to achieve such level of cargo security as soon as possible. 

As of August 1, 2010, cargo that is not screened will not be permitted to be transported on a passenger aircraft for flights originating in the U.S. Some airlines have noted that cargo that is not screened in the CCSP program may be subject to delays and face earlier acceptance cut-off times.