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            september 21, 2019

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New US demands mandatory advance air cargo screening mandatory


Henceforth under Advance Air Cargo Screening (ACAS) carriers must submit required pre-arrival air cargo data to US Customs before loading, reports Global Trade Magazine of Newport Beach, near Los Angeles.
Advance screening had its genesis in October 2010, when an attempt by al-Qaeda to ship explosives in air cargo was disrupted.
The ACAS programme went into effect last month, requiring the submission of advanced air cargo information on shipments arriving in the United States from a foreign location.
Before June 12, it was a voluntary process in which many airlines already participated. The programme requirements are now mandatory for airlines flying to the United States.
As part of the ACAS programme, participating carriers submit a subset of required pre-arrival air cargo data to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the earliest point practicable and prior to loading the cargo onto aircraft destined to or transiting through the United States.
The ACAS pilot operated programme for seven years, but now is a requirement. The ACAS data elements include shipper name and address, consignee name and address, a non-generic cargo description, quantity based on the smallest external packing unit, the weight of the cargo expressed in pounds or kilogrammes, and the air waybill number.
The inbound air carrier is required to file the ACAS data if no other eligible party elects to file. CBP is allowing parties other than the inbound air carrier to file because in some cases, these other parties will have access to accurate ACAS data sooner.
ACAS data should be transmitted prior to consolidation and loading the cargo on an aircraft. ACAS violations are subject to liquidated damages claims.
According to CBP, advantages of ACAS include efficiencies gained from automating identification of high-risk cargo for enhanced screening and reduced paper work related to cargo screening requirements.
CBP sees ACAS as a model for the international community to enhance air cargo security, and intends to work with the World Customs Organisation and the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation to harmonise air cargo security standards globally.

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