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USA orders further air cargo screening for flights from Mideast

USA orders further air cargo screening for flights from Mideast

The Transportation Security Administration, citing terror concerns, is implementing a stricter screening program for air cargo arriving to the United States from five countries in the Middle East.

The U.S. aviation security agency has issued an emergency order requiring additional screening of cargo on flights departing for the United States from five Mideast countries.

The countries falling under this order are Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. "This is all intel driven".

These countries were also part of the "laptop ban" previous year that restricted what electronics passengers could bring into the cabin.

In most instances, ACAS is a voluntary program that gives TSA and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) advanced intel about the cargo aircraft carriers plan to ship to the U.S.

The new regulations affect six airlines including EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Qatar, Saudi, Emirates and Etihad.

Carriers that comply with ACAS have to tell CBP the contents of what is being shipped to the USA and the names of the people sending the cargo.




The airports subject to the order include Cairo International Airport in Egypt, Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, King Abdul-Aziz International Airport and King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia, Doha International Airport in Qatar, as well as Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport in the U.A.E. They are not barred from delivering cargo, but are now required to provide "total asset visibility" when doing so.

"Anomaly detection is the bottom line here", said a TSA official.

Five Muslim-majority countries are subject to new rules on airplane cargo by US transport officials anxious about terrorism, according to a report.

Having been aware of the Australian incident, the TSA required in September enhanced screening of cargo from Turkey.

The tougher screening procedures follow a foiled terror plot in Australia last summer, which revealed a senior ISIS commander had shipped partially assembled components of a bomb on a commercial cargo plane from Turkey to Australia, according to Australian law enforcement.

President Donald Trump's administration is considering making all air cargo on its way to the United States bound by these new rules.


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