On July 24th, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) published a Federal Register notice announcing an extension of the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot program which was due to expire on July 26, 2017. The program has been extended for another year.
In brief, the ACAS pilot revises the time frame for pilot participants to transmit a subset of mandatory advance electronic information for air cargo of no later than the time of departure of the aircraft for the United States (from specified locations) or four hours prior to arrival in the United States for all other locations.
The ACAS pilot is a voluntary test in which participants agree to submit a subset of the required 19 CFR 122.48a data elements (ACAS data) at the earliest point practicable prior to loading of the cargo onto the aircraft destined to or transiting through the United States. The ACAS data is used to target high-risk air cargo.
To address air cargo security vulnerabilities, CBP intends to amend the CBP regulations to incorporate ACAS as an ongoing regulatory program. The regulation will take into account the results of the pilot and the concerns of industry. CBP would like the pilot to continue during the rulemaking process to provide continuity in the flow of advance air cargo security information and serve as a partial stop-gap security measure. CBP would also like to continue to provide pilot participants with the additional opportunity to adjust and test business procedures and operations in preparation for the forthcoming rule.