The Transportation Security Administration is set to begin screening 100% of all air cargo shipments starting July 1, 2021. Please note, this applies to ALL cargo moving by air, to include passenger and cargo flights, as well as chartered flights.
However, with only three weeks remaining before the official implementation of this procedure, TSA is now presenting another alternative to the situation at hand: manufacturers, suppliers, warehouses, e-commerce fulfillment centers and third-party logistics providers may also choose to become a Secured Packing Facility (SPF).
Under the official title of an SPF, qualified businesses would be able to “opt out” of default TSA regulations and immediately tender outbound shipments to airlines on their own, provided that they have TSA-approved security measures to screen their cargo accordingly. A threat assessment, as well as written approval by the TSA is also required.
Unfortunately, given the short timeframe in which this was announced, it is unlikely that SPFs will be operational prior to the July 1st deadline, and traditional screening methods will remain in place until SPFs applications are officially confirmed.
There are multiple concerns regarding the TSA regulations. The extra security is expected to increase shipping costs as service fees are factored into the equation. Additionally, certain containers may prove too large for conventional X-rays and must be separated into smaller forms to ensure a thorough search. Cargo likely will need to be dropped off earlier to ensure adequate time for security checks.
As far as we are aware, TSA has indicated that they will handle situations on a case-by-case basis; they do not currently have a screening mechanism for cargo unable to be screened under their parameters.
John S. Connor, Inc., will continue to remain diligent in communicating specific cargo details to the airlines, as well keeping you informed of any specific requirements that may come from certain airlines. We encourage you to reach out to our compliance team for any additional questions you may have regarding the situation.