WASHINGTON — The United States expanded its ban on air cargo shipments from Somalia in the wake of the package bomb plot originating from Yemen, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday.
Additionally, toner and ink cartridges that are over 16 ounces will be banned from all U.S. passenger flights and planes heading to the United States, she said. That ban will also apply to some air cargo shipments.
Other new rules include:
- International mail packages sent to the U.S. must be screened individually and certified to have come from an established postal shipper;
- Cargo shippers, such as UPS, Federal Express, and DHL, have been encouraged to report cargo manifests to Homeland Security faster, prior to departure, to aid in identifying risky cargo based on current intelligence.
In Europe, EU interior ministers established a panel on Monday to review a proposed plan to tighten air cargo security that would include blacklisting high-risk airports that are deemed to have inadequate security measures.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said his five-point plan also calls for "special controls" on suspect parcels "like technical material from Yemen destined for a Jewish organization in Europe or the United States."
If de Maiziere's proposal is approved, it would be the first time the 27-nation European has adopted a blacklist of foreign airports.
The EU has had a list of unsafe airlines since 2006. It currently includes 278 banned airlines from 17 countries — mostly small carriers from Africa and Asia — and is regularly updated.
Reuters, The Associated Press and NBC's Pete Williams contributed to this report.