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 2012: After 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 Rule: The 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.