U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration announced that the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) program went into effect. The program requires the submission of advanced air cargo information on shipments arriving in the United States from a foreign location. Previously a voluntary process in which many airlines already participated globally, the program requirements are now mandatory for airlines flying to the United States.

As part of the ACAS program, participating carriers submit a subset of required pre-arrival air cargo data to CBP at the earliest point practicable and prior to loading the cargo onto aircraft destined to or transiting through the United States. ACAS leverages DHS threat information and other data to employ a risk-based approach to improve air cargo security through targeted vetting. At the National Targeting Center, CBP and TSA jointly target and mitigate any cargo identified as high-risk before it is loaded aboard aircraft destined to the United States. 

“The ACAS program is a vital component for CBP to prevent illicit contraband from entering, while expediting lawful commerce,” said CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.  “It was built on partnership with the express and air cargo industry and represents the government and private sector working together to solve challenging problems.  The formalization of ACAS will enhance and support the security of the small parcel and air cargo industry for years to come.”

“TSA and CBP continue our strong partnership in securing the homeland, and the screening of inbound air cargo is improved with these new regulations,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Our joint procedures with the industry will allow for effective and efficient screening of the high volume of cargo transported daily to the United States.”

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed the Air Cargo Advance Screening interim final rule on May 23, certifying ACAS as a program. The program officially goes into effect June 12, 2018.