The Canadian federal government has launched a new air cargo security screening program for shippers and forwarders.
The $95.7-million program, which will be phased in over five years, involves new technology, more inspectors and additional training, and under the new initiative, the Canadian government will increase the scope of mandatory screening at various points in the supply chain for example, by making the higher-risk classes and the sources of air cargo a priority.
Like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) here in the U.S., this new program will create additional screening capacity upstream in the supply chain, so that security can be improved, but screening bottlenecks at airports can be avoided.
During his announcement of the new measures, Canada's Transport Minister John Baird pointed out that 75 percent of commercial cargo travels in planes that also transport passengers.
"We must remember that terrorism is not just something that happens somewhere else to someone else," he said.
According to a press release, the program aims to achieve four important goals:
There will be an obligation for all cargo shippers, freight forwarders and air carriers in the supply chain process to ensure that cargo screening is completed and verified,
Shippers, freight forwarders and air carriers will use newer and more effective technologies and processes to screen cargo,
All companies involved in screening cargo will require thorough security checks, and
Canada's air cargo screening will be fully compatible with other trading partners.
More information about the U.S. TSA CCSP is available in this TSA update from last week.