• ITVI.USA
    16,014.360
    14.660
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.006
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.430
    0.240
    1.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,995.600
    10.280
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.930
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.620
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.330
    -0.040
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.570
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.390
    0.070
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.130
    0.020
    0.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,014.360
    14.660
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.006
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.430
    0.240
    1.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,995.600
    10.280
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.930
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.620
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.330
    -0.040
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.570
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.390
    0.070
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.130
    0.020
    0.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

Air cargo industry says ACAS pilot proven successful

Representatives from the air cargo industry told House lawmakers Tuesday that the current method and number of data elements supplied to CBP’s Air Cargo Advance Screening program are sufficient.

   While U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has recently extended its Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot for another year, the air cargo industry told House lawmakers this week that the current method for exchanging information in the program and the required number of data elements have proven effective.
   ACAS was put in place late 2010 after terrorists in Yemen attempted to plant printer cartridges laden with explosives on board cargo aircraft. The CBP pilot started with the express carriers and rapidly grew to include all facets of the air cargo industry, including passenger and all-cargo plane operators and freight forwarders.
   Today, there are about 20 ACAS participants covering more than 80 percent of the air cargo entering the United States. Since its inception, more than 440 million shipments have been screened through the pilot program.
   ACAS participants must provide CBP seven shipment data elements, including names and addresses of the shipper and consignee, total package count and weight, and cargo description, as well as the air waybill number. The information, which does not have to be 100 percent clean of typos, is transmitted much earlier than other data required for regular customs clearance. The goal is to allow CBP to perform risk-based targeting on the data well before the cargo can be loaded onto U.S.-bound aircraft. 
   Michael Mullen, executive director of the Express Association of America, whose members include UPS, FedEx and DHL, told members of the House Homeland Security Committee’s transportation and protective security subcommittee Tuesday, that requiring additional data elements beyond the current “7+1,” such as flight numbers and harmonized tariff schedule numbers, would only bog down ACAS and not significantly improve CBP’s targeting capabilities within the program.
   He also warned against imposing customs penalties for the timeliness and accuracy of information, but rather reserve those actions for cases involving “gross negligence or willful circumvention of the rules.”
   Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association, who also testified before the House subcommittee, said his association generally supports the ACAS pilot. “Our only comment is that forwarders should not be the only ones required to submit data and this task should be accessible through a readily available government portal,” he said.
   CBP plans to use the results of the pilot to help formulate more uniform regulations for advance air cargo screening against terrorist threats. But progress towards this end remains slow. This latest announced year-long ACAS pilot extension by Acting CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan is the second by the agency in two years.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.

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