The federal government should consider implementing a program for air-cargo security similar to the so-called 10+2 rule now in place for oceangoing shipments, a leading retailing executive said. Jonathan Gold, the National Retail Federation's vice president, supply chain and customs, told an international trade group in Boston that federal authorities should consider a "model like [the Importer Security Filing] for air cargo." The Importer Security Filing or ISF program is more popularly known as the "10+2" rule because it requires 10 data elements from importers and two from ocean carriers—all of which must be submitted to CBP before containerized cargo is loaded on vessels bound for the United States.
Speaking at the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT) Annual Northeast Cargo Symposium in Boston on Nov. 4, Gold said shippers would rather see risk-based assessments of data similar to those developed for ocean cargo than a screening and inspection regime. Federal law now requires either the screening or physical inspection of all cargo to be loaded in the lower holds of passenger planes at U.S. airports. There are no such rules governing cargo flown on all-cargo aircraft, however.
In the wake of the discovery late last month of two bombs shipped on all-cargo aircraft, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are under "a tremendous amount of pressure" from Congress to immediately improve the security of all-cargo aircraft. However, they should resist that pressure and not rush into anything, said Gold.
Gold and other speakers predicted that a measure proposed by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) mandating 100-percent screening of freight flown on all-cargo aircraft would not be passed before the end of the current congressional session. Markey has said he will introduce legislation when the House reconvenes Nov. 15 for a lame duck session.