Forwarders express concerns over ACAS
A coalition of associations representing air freight forwarding companies is calling on the US federal government to ask for input from small- and mediumsized forwarders before it expands the Air Cargo Advanced Screening (ACAS) programme.
July 1, 2014
A coalition of associations representing air freight forwarding companies is calling on the US federal government to ask for input from small- and mediumsized forwarders before it expands the Air Cargo Advanced Screening (ACAS) programme. The programme, which analyses advance data on inbound air shipments to the US to assess risk, is currently in pilot phase, but US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has signalled that it intends to expand it to apply to all inbound air cargo.
The Airforwarders Association (AfA), the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) and the Express Delivery and Logistics Association (XLA) have jointly sent letters to CBP and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) noting their support of the concept of the ACAS program’s risk-based analysis at the shipment level, but saying they are “concerned about certain issues which we feel have not yet been fully resolved within the ACAS pilot.”
In addition to detailing issues regarding potential negative impacts on small- and medium-sized air forwarding businesses, the letters included requests to meet with both agencies and representatives from air carriers in June to discuss the concerns and try to resolve them.
The four associations are concerned that the ACAS pilot programme has involved only a handful of forwarders, mostly larger operations that already have integrated supply chains and an overseas infrastructure. Their letters emphasised that the pilot has not included smaller forwarding companies “that rely on an extensive network of independent agents at overseas airports” and for whom “the size and scope of their technology infrastructure … varies widely.”