The United States is on track to meet a Dec. 3 deadline to screen and inspect all cargo moving in the lower decks of passenger planes that originate in foreign countries, a top official of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said.

Meeting the original deadline (August 2010) proved to be impossible due to the difficulty harmonizing the security regimes of the U.S. and its trading partners, and the date was pushed back to December 2012.

It is estimated that about 80 percent of all inbound belly cargo is already screened or inspected at origin…but had been unwilling to share data about those programs with other countries. The TSA has said that unless it gained access to the details of foreign governments’ screening provisions, it cannot determine if they meet U.S. requirements and cannot recognize them.

Tags: security, tsa