THE USA is demanding additional security checks on cargo being flown into America from around the world.
The sudden move, which is threatening to cause delays and bottlenecks, is a result of terrorism threats which have forced the closure of US embassies and consulates in some Middle Eastern and African countries.
As a result, all in-bound shipments on commercial flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa are currently being screened twice, reveals Brandon Fried, executive director of US forwarders group Airforwarders Association.
According to reports, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ordered airlines to increase the inspection of cargo at the last point of departure for the United States.
"They said, 'until further notice, this is what you're going to do,'" Fried is quoted. "Nothing unscreened gets on the ‘plane," he adds. "If you used one method, or several methods (of inspecting cargo), you need to do it again. It's redundant, dual screening."
In a media statement, a DHS official states: "As always, our security posture, which at all times includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, will continue to respond appropriately to protect the American people from an ever evolving threat picture."