ACAS Security Software
What is ACAS?
ACAS was designed to provide CBP with data concerning the parties and commodities involved in air cargo prior to loading on an aircraft at a foreign port. With information about inbound air shipments further back in the supply chain, CBP will be able to better indentify high-risk shipments into the United States. In addition, the program will speed the movement of lower-risk shipments while resources can focus on higher-risk shipments for additional screening.
Why was the ACAS initiative created?
The ACAS pilot project was created in response to attempted terrorist threats discovered in October 2010. Both of the flights involved had undergone physical screening. In addition, at the time, electronic cargo manifest information was required 4-hours before arrival— not prior to departure. This system was vulnerable since potential threats could only be discovered after takeoff. CBP determined that it could strengthen air cargo security if electronic cargo information was transmitted prior to loading at a foreign port. This is an additional security requirement that goes one-step beyond post-departure Air AMS.
What is the current status of the ACAS regulation?
Much like previous security initiatives, ACAS is currently in the preliminary or pilot phase. The pilot allows for CBP to collaborate with the industry to better determine the most effective and efficient means of achieving the desired regulatory results without impacting the speed of air cargo operations.
Are there plans to make ACAS a mandatory program?
Yes. CBP has clearly stated that it intends to issue a regulation to require advance data submission to ACAS for all international shipments either destined for or travelling through the United States.
How far in advance does data have to be submitted for ACAS?
CBP has stated that the timely submission of ACAS data prior to consolidation and loading the cargo on an aircraft will be required. The sooner the information is submitted, the sooner screening or Do Not Load (DNL) messages can be communicated.