November 20, 2012
OTTAWA, Ontario—Transport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are looking for freight forwarders and air carriers to volunteer to be part of a new cargo screening program.
Known as PACT—the Pre Load Air Cargo Targeting Pilot—it is being conducted as part of this country’s commitment to the joint Canada-US Beyond the Border strategy. Under Beyond the Border, both countries have pledged to develop an inbound cargo strategy.
Under PACT, air carriers and freight forwarders will provide Transport Canada and CBSA data about air cargo shipments before they are even loaded onto Canada-bound planes.
Transport Canada and CBSA will then analyze the information and look for indications of risks to aviation security. The agencies say they will work with volunteer participants to provide sufficient notice in mitigating high risk cargo and minimally impact the flow of legitimate cargo.
According to the government agencies, there are benefits to participating. Volunteers will have the opportunity to shape the future of PACT, which could be important, should PACT become a permanent program. Also they say having having their cargo data assessed under the pilot offers the carrier and forwarder an extra layer of security for the shipment prior to arrival.
PACT is modeled on the Transportation Safety Agency’s (TSA) Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot, which is already conducting risk assessments of US-destined air cargo that leaves its point of destination and arrives directly in Canada before being conducted across the border.
For additional information (in English and French) see the CIFFA webpage.