TIACA URGES CUSTOMS TO PROCEED WITH CAUTION ON MANIFEST RULES
The International Air Cargo Association urged the U.S. Customs Service to time collection of manifest information from air-freight carriers and handlers with the arrival of shipments at their destination.
The request came in a Jan. 28 letter as Customs' solicits industry comments to help it develop a system for submitting advance manifest data submission required by Congress. Customs put a preliminary proposal on the table this month that would require air cargo operators to electronically file manifest data 24 hours prior to loading.
'The current state of stock markets, reflecting widespread concerns on the prospects for future development in the U.S. and the world economy, is a very dangerous environment in which to take the edge off advanced trading systems and impose a new set of operational difficulties on an aviation industry already facing serious economic problems,' TIACA said.
Requirements that carriers submit data before the aircraft lifts off the ground would require placing goods on hold and thus cripple an industry predicated on predictable and fast transit times, the group said. It also warned that filing manifest data much in advance of 'wheels up' mode 'will entail serious additional risks of error and omission independent of every endeavor by carriers and their customers' to generate accurate information for anti-terrorism screening.
TIACA, echoing a similar suggestion by an air express industry representative at a public meeting Jan. 14, recommended that Customs create a small advisory committee on airline and air cargo operations comprised of government and industry experts to help the agency through the myriad details of implementing the new rules.