GAO FINDS US CARGO SCREENING WEAKNESSES AS TSA PLANS COVERT TESTING AT FOREIGN AIRPORTS

On 31 July, Homeland Security Today reported that the threat of explosives reaching the US via air cargo is significant.  The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) therefore requires air carriers to x-ray or screen the cargo by other means before it enters the US – but the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found weaknesses in TSA’s analysis of imaging technology in a field assessment January 2020-April 2021.  The problem was that TSA officials cannot use live explosives in the field to measure the probability of detection, they rely on image quality testing, using a manufacturer’s test kit to compare system performance in the field with earlier tests performed in a laboratory with live explosives – and GAO considered this unacceptable.  It is also said that GAO considered U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) role in securing air cargo. Its Air Cargo Advanced Screening program (ACAS) requires air carriers to submit shipment data on US-bound air cargo prior to departure from last point-of-departure airports.  The report comes as TSA implements new International Civil Aviation Organization security standards for air cargo, which now require countries to screen 100% of cargo before it is loaded on freighter aircraft, as they are currently required to do with belly freight.  The increase in screening has caused backlogs and carriers have reported confusion surrounding the new documentation requirements – but the article says that sometimes the relevant checks are still playing catch-up to passenger screening standards.

https://www.hstoday.us/industry/gao-finds-cargo-screening-gaps-as-tsa-plans-covert-testing-at-foreign-airports/

The report is at –

https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-21-105192.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s