US screening of all inbound cargoes disrupts global supply chain
MANILA, Philippines — The air cargo industry, manufacturers, exporters, importers and consumers will face the prospect of significant global supply chain disruption if the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) enforces a proposed deadline of December 31, 2011 for a 100% screening of all international inbound cargo on passenger aircraft.
The subject dominated day two of The International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) Executive Summit in Bangkok with strong views expressed by both panelists and delegates.
It incorporated an update from Doug Brittin, General Manager, Air Cargo of the TSA and stimulated a lengthy debate involving industry experts from Asia and the United States, moderated by Andrew Herdman, Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
Neel Shah, Senior Vice President and Chief Cargo Officer for Delta Air Lines and a TIACA Board Member, spoke as the newly-elected chairman of TIACA’s Security Sub-committee. He voiced his concern over the lack of progress in certifying foreign country air cargo security programs.
“Unless TSA and, more broadly speaking, the entire US government focuses the necessary resources on reviewing the process and timeline by which foreign security programs are validated and placed into the TSA’s National Cargo Security Program (NCSP), we will face some significant disruptions to the global supply chain," said Shah.
Doug Brittin had earlier told TIACA delegates that the TSA is still considering whether to establish December 31, 2011 as the new deadline, two years earlier than originally planned.
Michael Steen, TIACA Chairman, said the association’s leadership will heed the panel’s warnings and will make these priority issues in ongoing dialogue with the TSA.
“We’ve received strong feedback from our members, not just in Asia but globally, that the potential December 31, 2011 deadline and the slow progress on foreign program certification are critical issues," said Steen. (EHL)