TSA can't tell how much air carriers screen U.S.-bound cargo
All-cargo air carriers don't have to report data about their efforts to screen U.S.-bound cargo, so the Transportation Security Administration doesn't know if they meet security requirements, says the Government Accountability Office.
TSA also hasn't weighed the costs and benefits of requiring all-cargo carriers to provide that data, the GAO notes in a May report (.pdf).
The agency says it has focused instead on the Air Cargo Advance Screening pilot, which aims to see whether carriers can feasibly submit air cargo manifest data to Customs and Border Protection prior to departure from foreign last-point-of-departure airports. (Currently, CBP must receive data at least 4 hours before the flight's arrival in the United States.)
But even though the ACAS pilot could help identify high-risk cargo for additional screening before departure, it provides manifest data, not screening data, the report says.
GAO recommends that TSA assess the costs and benefits of requiring all-cargo carriers to report data on the amount of inbound air cargo screening they conduct. The Homeland Security Department concurred.
In its comments on the report, DHS said TSA is taking steps to require carriers to provide confirmation that they have screened their cargo.
- download the report, GAO-12-632 (.pdf)