Value Added Services > Cargo Screening: Description


As a direct result of the attacks on the U.S. of September 11, 2001 and the ensuing review of America’s security programs relating to the safety of air travel, President Bush signed into law the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 on August 3, 2007. Among other security recommendations it included, the law mandated 100% screening of all cargo being placed on passenger aircraft by August 2010, and it required the Transportation Safety Administration (“TSA”) to:

      • Put in place a system to screen 100% of cargo transported on passenger aircraft.
      • Provide a level of security commensurate to that of passenger baggage.
      • Meet inspection benchmarks:
         50% of cargo must be screened not later than February 1, 2009.
         100% of cargo must be screened not later than August 1, 2010.

These changes were expected to cause significant air cargo handling delays at airlines where all screening is currently performed, as according to one estimate nearly 12 million pounds of cargo move through the air daily on passenger airplanes.

As one part of its approach to meet the stringent requirements of the Act, the TSA developed and began implementation of a program called the Certified Cargo Screening Program (“CCSP”) to provide a mechanism by which the industry could achieve 100% screening without impeding the flow of commerce. This program enables organizations in addition to the airlines, such as shippers, manufacturers, warehousing entities, distributors, and third-party logistics companies, to be certified by the TSA as Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (“CCSFs”) and to allow them to screen cargo prior to acceptance at the freight forwarder or air carrier.

CCSP Program:

Participation in the CCSP is voluntary, but once in, the program requires:

      • Screening of cargo early in the air cargo supply chain by a trusted, vetted, and
         audited Certified Cargo Screening Facility.
      • Establishing the integrity of a shipment through enhanced physical and personnel
         security standards at CCSFs.
      • Maintaining the integrity of a shipment throughout the supply chain by utilizing
         stringent chain of custody methods.

Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSFs) must:

      • Adhere to increased TSA-directed security standards.
      • Share responsibility for supply chain security.
      • Employ chain of custody.
      • Permit onsite validations.
      • Be subject to Transportation Security Inspector (TSI-C) inspections.

Atelier 4 as a Certified Cargo Screening Facility:

Given the unique nature of the “products” Atelier 4 moves around the world for its clients, along with the sensitivity of many museums, galleries and private collectors to having their works uncrated and examined by airline employees performing cargo screening at airports, Atelier 4 decided to pursue certification as a Certified Cargo Screening Facility when the program’s “Phase One Deployment” was announced in the fall of 2007.

Atelier 4 met with representatives of the TSA on several occasions after the program was initially introduced, in order to gain a better understanding of the constantly evolving requirements, and developed and tested internal procedures in order to meet the TSA’s security standards. The TSA recently visited Atelier 4’s facility in Long Island City, near the area’s JFK and LaGuardia airports, and inspected Atelier 4’s program and procedures. The inspection was successful, and Atelier 4 was informed that as of April 17, 2009, it has been certified as a CCSF and can screen cargo at its facility for transport on passenger aircraft.

Advantages to Using Atelier for Passenger Cargo Shipments:

With Atelier 4 now being certified to perform TSA-approved screening of artworks for transport on passenger aircraft, Atelier 4’s clients now have the opportunity for complete artwork collection, TSA-approved security screening and delivery services to airlines for passenger air shipment, providing them with the broadest access to domestic and international delivery routes without the risk of the artworks losing their security screening certification during transfer. These TSA-certified services virtually eliminate the risk of a shipment being refused by the airline, thus delaying transport, or potentially even worse, having the airlines receive the pieces but treat them as unscreened and force a re-screening, potentially by physical search and by less-trained airline personnel.

The TSA itself has this to say about the advantages of using a CCSF-certified shipping company for the movement of artworks:

“CCSP shippers will benefit from participation in several ways. By screening their own shipments, shippers can significantly reduce the possibility that their cargo may be physically opened. Additionally, they can bypass the potential delays that could occur if all screening is performed only at the airport.”

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Long Island City
NY 11101-2434
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Los Angeles
CA 90063-2522
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