Acting Deputy Commissioner Shares ACAS Strategy with Air Cargo Leaders
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and its partners are taking a new direction to secure the air cargo link of the global supply chain, Acting CBP Deputy Commissioner Thomas Winkowski told industry leaders today in Miami.
Photo Credit:Chuck Prichard
"This is our new roadmap," said Deputy Commissioner Winkowski, while holding up a copy of the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) Strategy Plan for participants of AirCargo 2012 to see. "This will lead everyone in this room toward a better, more secure way of moving cargo by air."
Deputy Commissioner Winkowski was a featured speaker and panel member during a discussion about government involvement with the air cargo industry held during the annual conference. AirCargo is the premier annual trade show and conference for the Air and Expedited Motor Carriers Association (AEMCA), the Airforwarders Association (AfA), and the Express Delivery & Logistics Association (XLA), which co-host the event.
Deputy Commissioner Winkowski offered ACAS as an example of government and industry experts working together to find efficiencies that work for all involved. "ACAS is a game changer. In the old days, we (CBP) would have called you (industry leaders) into the office and told you how things would be done. But that model no longer works. Instead, ACAS was co-created by all of us working in collaboration to look at the current system and figuring how to use the information we already collect to align security and trade targets."
Deputy Commissioner Winkowski praised the air cargo industry for the success of a voluntary ACAS pilot program. "To date, we have successfully processed 14 million transactions and proved that the system works," he said.
During a question and answer session after his remarks, Deputy Commissioner Winkowski stated that ACAS procedures will eventually become mandatory. "But because of the excellent cooperation from the companies, we expect that the bulk of air cargo will move under ACAS compliance before the regulations are instated," he said.
Deputy Commissioner Winkowski also answered questions about Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), of CBP's Centers of Excellence and Expertise and Customs and Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).
As part of a panel that included Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole, Deputy Commissioner Winkowski explained how CBP and TSA are working together and with other governmental agencies to secure the free movement of goods and people into and throughout the United States.
Deputy Commissioner Winkowski closed his remarks with a look ahead. "Someone once said that the future does not look like it used to. That statement holds very true for all of us. ACAS is a good start on our future. But we have to continue working together to co-create the efficiencies that will keep America competitive in the global supply chain," he said.