Value Added Services > Cargo Screening: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Key:

CCSF = Certified Cargo Screening Facility
CCSP = Certified Cargo Screening Program
COC = Chain of Custody
DHS = Department of Homeland Security
DSA = Designated Screening Area
ETD = Explosive Trace Detection
IAC = Indirect Air Carrier
IED = Improvised Explosive Device
STA = Security Threat Assessment
TSA = Transportation Security Administration


TSA’s Certified Cargo Screening Program - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is cargo screening?
2. Why is this being done?
3. Will all cargo be screened?
4. Until August 2010, can A4 just designate my shipment to be part of the portion that does not get screened?
5. What kind of items are screened?
6. But I’m only shipping paintings, why does my artwork have to be screened?
7. What about items that are only traveling within the USA?
8. Under whose authority is my artwork screened?
9. Is my shipment suspicious because it’s artwork? Am I being singled out?
10. I already know Atelier 4 Inc. So what does it mean that I have to become "known"?
11. Can anyone screen my artwork? What about my regular shipping company?
12. Who screens my artworks at the A4 CCSF?
13. Where does Atelier 4 Inc screen my artworks?
14. Can A4 come to my location and do the screening at my museum or gallery?
15. What types of screening exists? And what types of screening is used by Atelier 4 Inc?
16. Why don’t you just X-Ray my artwork? Isn’t that easier?
17. Does my artwork have to be unwrapped for screening?
18. Why does Atelier 4 Inc need my list of artworks if the company is only going to run an ETD test?
19. Will every single piece be screened?
20. After screening, how does my artwork end up on the plane?
21. What if I want A4 to screen my cargo, but I want another shipper to export it?
22. Will the airlines themselves screen my shipment?
23. This is a hassle, won’t it be easier to just let the airlines screen it at the airport?
24. Will this whole process slow down my shipment?
25. Why do I have to provide consent for screening? Doesn’t A4 just open it anyway?
26. When you pick-up from my artist, storage company, or other outside location, why does the person at the pick-up have to show their ID to A4’s drivers? Haven’t you already made me a “Known Shipper”, so why the extra step?
27. My items are too fragile and valuable. What if I do not want my artworks to be screened before shipment?
28. My insurance company says they won’t cover my artworks if I let A4 perform screening on them. What should I do?
29. What if I want to screen my own artworks myself?
30. Why can’t A4 help me and tell me how to set up my own CCSF?
31. Is there any kind of artwork that cannot be screened?
32. What if I already have pre-existing crates that are already packed and that I need to send by passenger aircraft?
33. My museum requires that our registrar or courier be present and observe screening. Is that possible?
34. This whole thing sounds expensive, what is Atelier 4 Inc doing to control costs?
35. Sorry, but I am still confused… what can I do?


1. What is cargo screening?

As part of "The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007" Congress legislated that DHS institute the screening of cargo that is to be transported on passenger aircraft. The Act took effect in February 2009.


2. Why is this being done?

The purpose of the screening is to protect people and commerce by verifying that unauthorized items are not hidden in cargo. Specifically, DHS is concerned with the proliferation of IEDs such as the one that brought down Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie Scotland in 1990.


3. Will all cargo be screened?

As of May 2010, seventy-five percent of cargo transported on passenger aircraft will need to be screened. And very soon, in August of 2010, one hundred percent of cargo transported on passenger aircraft will be subject to the screening requirement. Other countries are taking steps to copy the US program, so we can expect to eventually see screened freight arriving in the US also.

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4. Until August 2010, can A4 just designate my shipment to be part of the portion that does not get screened?

No. The determination of what constitutes the non-screened percentage is made by the airlines. We have no control over how the calculations are done for each flight and shipment.


5. What kind of items are screened?

All items (over sixteen ounces) for shipment on passenger aircraft must be screened. There are no exemptions for artwork, exhibits, or display materials.


6. But I’m only shipping paintings, why does my artwork have to be screened?

The Act makes no exceptions for artwork, nor are there any exemptions based on what it’s made of, nor are there any exemptions for government offices or public museums. So for example, if an artwork comes from a city museum and consists of just a single sheet of paper, screening is still required to place it on a passenger flight.  


7. What about items that are only traveling within the USA?

The Act covers air travel by cargo in passenger aircraft, no matter where the flight is going. Either within the USA or internationally, screening is required.


8. Under whose authority is my artwork screened?

These rules are governed by an Act of Congress. The DHS has charged TSA with disseminating the rules, certifying screening facilities, and maintaining the CCSP. You can read the Act here


9. Is my shipment suspicious because it’s artwork? Am I being singled out?

No one is being singled out. The Act does not mandate that we pick and choose amongst consignors. We are required to treat everyone’s items by the same rules.  


10. I already know Atelier 4 Inc. So what does it mean that I have to become "known"?

In order to place your shipment on a passenger aircraft, you have to be verified either by an in-person visit from A4 or by TSA’s “Known Shipper Management System”. This has to be done before we can even screen anything for you. Contact your A4 salesperson if you’d like more info on how to get “known” status.


11. Can anyone screen my artwork? What about my regular shipping company?

Only a CCSF can screen cargo. To become a CCSF, a company must follow TSA directives and pass certain security and administrative benchmarks. Not all shipping companies are in the CCSF program, nor are IACs automatically placed into the program without the special TSA CCSP certification. If the shipper you hire is not in the program, then your freight will end up being screened either at a third-party location or by the airlines at the airport. Shipping companies cannot “get around” screening simply by declining to become a CCSF.


12. Who screens my artworks at the A4 CCSF?

Screening can only be conducted by employees who have received training as per TSA regulations. Those employees must also have STA clearance. At A4, the employees who conduct the screening have met the above requirements and are also trained art handlers from our crating & packing department. This ensures minimal handling by only trained professional art handlers, and that the screening is done under the safest possible circumstances.

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13. Where does Atelier 4 Inc screen my artworks?

The screening is conducted in our DSA, which has been pre-approved by the TSA.


14. Can A4 come to my location and do the screening at my museum or gallery?

No, a CCSF cannot perform screening activities outside its own DSA. Under the current rules, CCSFs are only allowed to conduct screening within their own in-house DSAs.


15. What types of screening exist? And what types of screening is used by Atelier 4 Inc?

Right now, there are two general types of screening: physical search and use of screening technologies. Atelier 4 uses ETD technology, and we are also certified for physical search. With ETD we are able to screen most crates and packages without having to disturb the artwork contents. This is desirable for museums and customers who do not want their goods handled in a physical search. This method is also pleasing to art insurers because it greatly reduces the risks associated with extra handling that occurs during physical search.


16. Why don’t you just X-Ray my artwork? Isn’t that easier?

The approved X-ray technology is prohibitively expensive and too large for a typical art handling facility. At the current time, most airlines are using outside vendors for this.


17. Does my artwork have to be unwrapped for screening?

Most items can pass through the ETD process without having to be opened or handled. TSA has established some specific exceptions, and those special items would need to have the ETD process applied directly to them, which would require unwrapping in those cases.


18. Why does Atelier 4 Inc need my list of artworks if the company is only going to run an ETD test?

In the event that the ETD technology cannot be used, the company must default to the physical search method, and for that, we require your list of goods so everything can be accounted for.


19. Will every single piece be screened?

This varies depending on the screening method. With ETD, we can screen whole crates or in some cases, individual items when required. With physical search, every item must be examined.


20. After screening, how does my artwork end up on the plane?

As a CCSF we are required to keep the screened items secured until they are ready to leave for the airport. We have to observe strict COC requirements for how we handle the goods after they’ve been screened. Atelier 4 Inc is also certified by TSA as an IAC with clearance to move screened goods from a CCSF to the airport. That means that our drivers have the required training and STAs to maintain the COC.

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21. What if I want A4 to screen my cargo, but I want another shipper to export it?

Part of our CCSF requirement is that we release freight only to a company that is TSA-regulated to move screened goods to the airport, and thus, to maintain the COC. This would generally be another IAC who has been properly certified. It cannot be an unregulated local trucker.


22. Will the airlines themselves screen my shipment?


The airlines have the right to screen anything they want and at any time, whether bound for passenger or all-cargo aircraft. This means that they can re-screen items that have already been screened at a CCSF, although that would be highly unlikely after they receive items that we’ve secured and sealed. If your shipment is traveling before August 2010 and is part of the unscreened freight, then the airline may or may not screen your cargo depending on how they decide to reach the percentage threshold for that particular flight. The airline’s decision whether to screen or not is not under the control of the IAC who gives them your shipment.


23. This is a hassle, won’t it be easier to just let the airlines screen it at the airport?

One thing to note is that the airlines are not required to screen by any particular method, and they can chose what works for them at any time. By regulation, they won’t discuss it with you or even with the IAC who tenders the unscreened freight. This means your shipment might be opened and handled by untrained workers at the airlines, or it might go off-site to a third-party location where it gets either opened or X-Ray’ed, then returned to the airport. We believe that is too much handling, and poses too many risks since there would be no one watching over your artworks while the airlines do as they please with unscreened freight.


24. Will this whole process slow down my shipment?

Of course we strive not to slow down anyone’s shipment. However, TSA’s directive is that security trumps all other concerns. By implementing the CCSP, TSA is hoping to avoid bottle-necks at the airports, and have the screening done by off-airport companies involved in moving volumes of freight, companies such as A4. The best way to keep your shipment moving on time is to hire a knowledgeable CCSF, with facilities and equipment to accomplish all the steps of the process in-house and smoothly. Possessing ETD technology is an increase in efficiency in terms of completing the screening process more quickly as compared to physical search.


25. Why do I have to provide consent for screening? Doesn’t A4 just go ahead and screen it anyway?

Under TSA regulations, your consent is required before we can proceed. As with the “Known Shipper” requirement, this is part of TSA’s multi-layered approach to verification of security steps.


26. When you pick-up from my artist, storage company, or other outside location, why does the person at the pick-up have to show their ID to A4’s drivers? Haven’t you already made me a “Known Shipper”, so why the extra step?

Again, this is part of the multi-layered security approach under TSA. Safety regulations require that we confirm and verify whom is tendering cargo to us for screening.


27. My items are too fragile and valuable. What if I do not want my artworks to be screened before shipment?

If you decline to have your items screened, they will have to move via a method other than passenger aircraft. In the US, that could mean by ground, or for exports, that could mean by boat or all-cargo aircraft. Note that for certain destinations, passenger aircraft is the best option in terms of cost control and timely routing.

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28. My insurance company says they won’t cover my artworks if I let A4 perform screening on them. What should I do?

Your insurance company is sadly misinformed about current rules and regulations. While we admire their attempt to control risks, we cannot advocate or assist anyone in breaking the rules or getting around these new regulations. Insurance agents and underwriters should understand that the use of a CCSF for artwork is preferable to letting it arrive at the airport unscreened. We advise that you direct your underwriter to read this FAQ or refer to the TSA’s website for more information.


29. What if I want to screen my own artworks myself?

There is no "do it yourself" option other than to undertake the process to become an official CCSF. The process is costly in terms of training, administration, and upkeep, plus requires that you dedicate a permanent space for your DSA. We only recommend becoming CCSF for those museums or institutions that plan to do constant shipments and who can devote the necessary space and resources to maintaining their own program. You should also be aware that there is a backlog of applications, and the process can take months to complete. Read more info here: http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/aircargo/certified_screening.shtm


30. Why can’t A4 help me and tell me how to set up my own CCSF?

Much of the information in the CCSP is security sensitive, which we are not allowed to disclose. You would have to turn directly to the TSA to get info on how to start up your own program. http://www.tsa.gov/contact/index.shtm


31. Is there any kind of artwork that cannot be screened?

With ETD technology we can screen almost anything. This includes being able to screen items that are solid, for example, sculptures with a hollow void. That is one of the advantages of ETD technology over physical screening.


32. What if I already have pre-existing crates that are already packed and that I need to send by passenger aircraft?

With ETD technology we are able to screen pre-existing and pre-packaged crates. In most cases, the process can be accomplished quickly with ETD technology, and the crates would not need to be opened. Or if necessary, we can conduct physical search.


33. My museum requires that our registrar or courier be present and observe screening. Is that possible?

Yes, we are able to provide a certified escort for a museum professional to observe the screening taking place in our DSA.


34. This whole thing sounds expensive, what is Atelier 4 Inc doing to control costs?

For the time being, we are offering our screening at no extra charge for those projects in which we are providing the crating and transport. For pre-existing crates that require screening, we have come up with reasonable rates, with an affordable minimum that includes receiving your crate, completing the screening, and providing certified COC transfer to the airport in the NYC area.


35. Sorry, but I am still confused… what can I do?

Contact an Atelier 4 Inc sales representative here with any further questions.

Copywrite Atelier 4 Inc 04/2010. Cannot be reproduced without permission.


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