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US eyeing a global 'trusted shipper' program

US eyeing a global 'trusted shipper' program

The United States is in talks with its allies, airlines and maritime groups about creating a global vetting system for international cargo, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday.
The so-called "trusted shipper" program is part of a wider effort to boost the safety of air cargo, whose vulnerability was exposed when terrorists in Yemen hid two powerful bombs inside printers and shipped them aboard cargo planes to addresses in Chicago late last year.
The plot was only narrowly thwarted when authorities, alerted by intelligence, discovered the bombs while they were still in transit.
The trusted shipper program would create a list of pre-vetted cargo companies whose goods would be subject to fewer checks, while those outside the program could expect "much more intensive inspection," Napolitano told reporters in London.
She gave few other details, but a similar program already exists in the United States for "trusted travelers" _ frequent flyers who pay a flat fee, volunteer biometric information and agree to background checks in order to speed their way through airport security.
Napolitano said that trusted shipper programs already exist in some form at national levels, but that the United States is seeking to standardize the vetting so that criteria are consistent across the world.
Napolitano spoke to reporters at the U.S. Embassy in London following meetings with British Home Secretary Theresa May, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, and officials from the International Maritime Organization.
She said talks also touched on security arrangements for the 2012 Olympics in London, and security arrangements at airports.


Updated : 2021-04-22 23:32 GMT+08:00