ACAS trial period extended

30 / 07 / 2014

THE decision by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency to extend the deadline for the introduction of air cargo advance screening (ACAS) has been welcomed by air cargo industry participants.

New advance data regimes (such as ACAS in the USA, PRECISE in the EU and PACT in Canada) require substantial testing before introduction.

The US authorities aim to make it a legal requirement to submit advance data on all international air cargo shipments either destined for, or transiting through, the United States.

The USA version’s pilot period was due to end on July 25 but has now been extended for another year to give the air cargo industry more time to adapt.

ACAS is a risk-based approach to the improvement of air cargo security standards by co-ordinating intelligence and targeted screening.

Under it, airlines and forwarders exchange advance security data and related action messages with US Customs, using new messages modeled on either the existing Cargo-IMP format or CBP CAMIR-Air messages.

CBP is accepting new applications for participants in the pilot – up until September 26 of this year.

The latest estimated timeline for the introduction of ACAS, including the latest full-year extension, is that it could become law in the third quarter of 2015, with the likelihood of possibly Q4/2015 or Q1/2016.

The EU PRECISE programme is currently targeted for the first half of 2016.