The Transportation Security Administration will begin screening all cargo arriving from international passenger flights in early December, a year after the agency was tasked to expand its screening reach from the domestic to global scale.
“Harmonizing security efforts with our international and industry partners is a vital step in securing the global supply chain,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole. “By making greater use of intelligence, TSA can strengthen screening processes and ensure the screening of all cargo shipments without impeding the flow of commerce.”
The TSA said Monday it will begin 100 percent screening on Dec. 3. The agency said operations will choose screening approaches on a per-shipment basis, allowing lower risk cargo to be scanned faster and save shippers money.
In 2007, a Democratic-controlled Congress gave the TSA until August 2012 to screen all international cargo arriving on passenger flights. After officials in October 2010 intercepted packages from Yemen that contained concealed explosives, Pistole told lawmakers international supply chains would be secure by the end of 2011, but international security has been much more difficult to achieve.
Internationally, the TSA is working to synchronize its security requirements with other nations’ through a series of mutual recognition agreements. At home, the agency is working closely with Customs and Border Protection to adopt risk-based screening techniques to air cargo.
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