The Airforwarders Association is Active in Government!


The transportation industry almost inevitably faces new Congressional challenges every year.  Recent years have seen 100 percent screening mandates, changes to screening protocols and increased property broker security. The countries’ economic crisis portends difficult budget decisions on the near-term horizon.


We are working proactively with cargo airlines, federal regulatory agencies, other interested stakeholders and members of Congress to promote cargo operations with airlines and to influence impending regulations.


We focus on making government officials aware that airfreight forwarders place a premium on safety and security and are actively working to ensure that our cargo and the public are safe.


It is important that you get involved. The AfA’s Government Action Center is provided as a service to our members to keep them informed on current legislative and public policy issues that affect our business. We encourage you to contact your legislator on issues that are important to you. All the information you need to be an effective advocate can be found here. Remember — decisions are made each day by Congress that have an impact on our business. These elected officials and their staffs must rely upon the expressed views of their constituents, the information of experts, and their own opinions to make important decisions. You can make a difference!

Air Cargo Legislation

There has been a great deal of legislative activity surrounding air cargo.  We have provided you the most relevant pieces of  legislation that would affect the forwarding industry below.

H.R. 658: the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012After five years and 23 extensions, Congress finally passed a long-term  FAA reauthorization on February 6, 2012.  President Obama signed the approved conference report into law (Public Law No: 112-95) on February 14th.  This $63 billion authorizing legislation will fund the continued operation of the FAA and its departments until 2015.  Contained in the legislation is a restriction on the FAA’s ability to regulate the transport of lithium batteries beyond the international standard set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).


H.R. 4348: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) of 2012: Congress passed a highway reauthorization bill on June 29, 2012 and President Obama signed the approved conference report into law (Public Law No: 112-141) on July 6, 2012. Most provisions become law on October 1, 2012. The substantial increase in the minimum level of property broker security, from $10,000 to $75,000, take effect on July 6, 2013. The act also changes the rules regarding interlining and sets penalties for violations.


Budget Control Act of 211 (Sequestration): As part of this act, if the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction failed to agree on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, the Administration would be forced to cut $1.2 trillion in spending on January 2, 2013. A study by Econsult concluded that sequestration could cost up to 132,000 jobs, sap $80 billion a year from the nation’s gross domestic product and strip almost two billion pounds of freight capacity out of an air cargo system that is already cracking at the seams. 

Proposed Lithium Battery RuleThe Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on lithium batteries in which the Agency is requesting comments related to the lithium battery provisions recently adopted by the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel.  The NPRM was published on April 11, 2012 in the Federal Register. PHMSA is considering harmonizing the U.S. hazardous materials regulations with lithium battery provisions recently adopted by ICAO, which will become effective on January 1, 2013.

IATA 2013 Lithium Battery Guidance Document

IATA Dangerous Goods Lithium Battery Checklist

TSA Final Rule on Air Cargo Security: The Final Rule for the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act) air cargo screening mandate came into effect on September 19, 2011. TSA announced the “final rule” in August and this action finalizes the Interim Final Rule (IFR) that was put into place in September of 2009.

While adjustments were made to the interim finale rule after TSA listened to approximately 40 comments it had received from trade associations, aircraft operators and a few individuals, TSA said none of the regulations in the interim rule or the final rule apply to international inbound cargo. Adjustments include:

  • TSA itself will process the applications of prospective Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF) instead of commercial “validation” firms. This is possible because the number of CCSF applications submitted by air cargo entities is far lower than TSA had originally anticipated.
  • There will not be a separate set of screening regulations for “off-airport” inspections.
  • TSA will announce the final cost of the Security Threat Assessment (STA) fee in a future Federal Register notice. The proposed fee is expected to be between $31 and $51 per person for each of the approximately 652,000 employees working at U.S. airports or off-airport CCSFs who would be required to undergo background checks.

H.R. 1447: Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2011 is sponsored by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Rep. Shelia Jackson-Lee (D-TX). Introduced on April 8, 2011, the primary goal of the bill is to establish an Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC). This bill was considered in committee, which has recommended it be considered by the House as a whole. On November 4, 2011, it was placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 180. On November 7, 2011, TSA announced that 24 members have been appointed to the ASAC, including the Airforwarders Association.

S. 1092: AIR Act of 2011 is sponsored by Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA). Introduced on May 26, 2011, the bill addresses passenger and air cargo screening procedures in regard to purchasing screening technologies. The bill has been read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

 H.R. 3011: Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act of 2011 is sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers (D-AL), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-CA) and Timothy Walberg (R-MI). Introduced on September 22, 2011, the bill authorizes the programs of the TSA. This bill has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

Public Testimony Involving Air Cargo

Find Your U.S. Congressman or Senator!

The Airforwarders Association is working every day to educate and inform members of Congress of the importance of air cargo the American economy. You can use the links below to find your representative and senator — the AfA is here to assist you in setting up meetings with your elected officials and providing letters to contact them.

2015 AfA Legislative Year In Review

Member Representation

The AfA represents forwarders and affiliated industry partners on Capitol Hill and at these agencies, committees and more:
  • Department of Homeland Security Aviation Advisory Committee
  • Transportation Security Administration Aviation Security Advisory Committee
  • TSA Known Shipper Users Group
  • US Chamber of Commerce Global Supply Chain Security Group
  • CNS-IATA Advisory Board
  • CBP COAC Air Cargo Advisory Committee
  • TIACA Air Cargo Security Committee
  • Airports Council International Air Cargo Committee
  • Transportation Research Board
  • Lithium Battery Coalition
  • DHS Critical Infrastructure Protection Air Cargo Security Working Group
  • US Department of Commerce Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness


The TSA vets 
Airforwarders Association member companies that ship and transport cargo on passenger planes to ensure they meet TSA security standards.  To learn more about TSA air cargo programs, click here.