Higher Level Of Security For U.S. Mail

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The Ministry of Home Affairs has advised customers of the Postal Service that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its components the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the United States Customs and Border Protection and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement have implemented a number of measures "to enhance existing security procedures for screening inbound airmail and cargo to the U.S."

According to an official of the Barbados Postal Service, the TSA stipulated in a Security Directive that: all mail intended for dispatch on passenger and cargo aircraft to the US must be screened; and mail will encounter a pre-determined "cooling" period prior to its dispatch.?? In addition, it is the airlines’ responsibility to ensure the security measures mandated by the DHS are implemented. Toner and ink cartridges will be prohibited on passenger aircraft; and all cargo identified as high-risk will go through additional and enhanced screening, including inbound international mail packages, which must be screened individually and certified to have come from an established postal shipper.

Stating that the "introduction of the TSA Security Directive had impacted negatively on mail services worldwide", the official pointed out that as a result "all classes of mail to and from Barbados would encounter delays and would continue to do so indefinitely."

They further added that "with regard to our Express Mail Service to the USA, it will continue to be given priority treatment but we can no longer offer our customers guaranteed delivery times as a result of the above. Therefore, it will inevitably be delayed."????????

To this end, to aid the expediting of our mails through foreign customs, it must be ensured that each item bears a completed customs declaration form, CN 22 for documents, and CP 72 or commercial invoices for items containing merchandise.

Furthermore, counter staff personnel must make sure that vague entries such as "$0 value", "Household Items", "No Commercial Value", and "Personal Effects" are not used as they do not reveal the exact nature of contents.????

These measures come in the wake of a failed terrorist attack to conceal and ship Improvised Explosive Devices on an aircraft destined for the US on October 28, last year.????

tblackman@barbados.gov.bb

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