U.S. and EU form air cargo security partnership

Monday, June 4, 2012

WASHINGTON—The Transportation Security Administration has formed an air cargo security partnership with the European Union and Switzerland, which will improve information sharing and make the cargo transportation more efficient.

The deal, which became effective on June 1, means that the United States and the EU will recognize each others respective cargo security regimes, eliminating the need to duplicate security screening procedures in some cases. Specifically, that means cargo can be moved through the 27 EU member states, Switzerland, and the United States while following a single set of security rules. The agreement "will ease the burden on industry and allow for the free movement of goods and commerce between our nations," TSA Administrator John Pistole said in a statement. "It will also strengthen security by ensuring that we share information and work together towards our common interests."

Air cargo between the United States and the EU amounts to more than a million ton a year traveling each way across the Atlantic, which is more than 20 percent of all outbound air cargo from the EU, according to a news release. The deal will save tens of millions of Euros per year in the EU alone, "without any negative impact on security," according to a news release from the EU's transportation agency.