Airforwarders object to cargo security legislation
The Airforwarders Association last week said that legislation passed by the U.S. House requiring inspection of all air cargo on passenger planes was an improvement over past amendments on the matter but could still harm the air freight industry.
The provision was included as part of a bill designed to implement the homeland security recommendations of the Sept. 11 Commission three years earlier.
The legislation calls for a system of inspection using equipment, technology, procedures and personnel to inspect all cargo by 2009.
The Airforwarders Association said the language appears to support the approach used by the Transportation Security Administration, which relies on canine and random inspections, various X-ray technologies and the Known Shipper program, basically a buddy system for airlines and freight forwarders accepting shipments.
'We are concerned with the rapid phase-in period calling for 100 percent inspection,' the group said in a prepared statement. 'TSA has repeatedly stated that this would bottleneck just-in-time cargo. Slowing down the flow of key medical goods and devices, perishable goods and other just-in-time cargo would have detrimental affects felt across the nation.'
Forwarders support 'the multi-layered, risk-based approach to air cargo security and believes this is the best way to provide Americans with strong aviation security policies without unduly hindering the flow of commerce.'