Known Shipper deadline August 1, 2009
The VFDA office, VFDA Board, and the VFDA Transportation committee have been working hard to better understand and get clearer information out to funeral homes regarding the TSA regulations that will be enforced as of this August 1. The following is the latest and most up to date information available.
Please remember that becoming a known shipper ONLY effects your funeral homes ability to ship human remains out and DOES NOT affect your ability to RECEIVE human remains. Please note that you MUST be a “known shipper” as of August 1st with any airline you may have to use to make shipments in the future.
Points of interest:
Becoming a “known shipper” is not a test of your professionalism it is a process that attempts to verify that all shipments being put onto air crafts are originating from a real existing business and not an organization attempting to circumvent airline security.
Becoming a “known shipper” is not difficult and should not be a great expense to your funeral home.
If your funeral home is the firm that has originated the paperwork (death certificate and permit..) then you are the shipper and can not use another funeral homes name even if they have “known shipper” status.
BEFORE you attempt to register as a “known shipper” go to a business registration website like Dunn and Brad Street and make sure you “exist” in their database as this is one of the sites that TSZ uses to check your address and existence as a legitimate business. I went on the site (dnd.com) typed my funeral home name in the “find a company” box (upper right corner) entered “Vermont” and hit “search”. My funeral home and many other Vermont funeral homes came up in the search and my address appeared and was correct. This allowed me to contact airlines with confidence that I would not be questioned when making my application. If you are not in the database, you are probably not a C corp. and might need to check with your CPA to see how your company is registered.
You will have to register to be a “known shipper” with EACH airline you might use and this will have to be done annually. VFDA and NFDA have been working hard to change this policy, but for now there is no flexibility on this issue.
If you are not a “known shipper” at the time you need to ship remains, you will have to become one before you will be allowed to access the shipping areas at the airport(s). There is NO grace period.
When you apply to an airline, most often it is a simple paper process that takes very little time and will cost nothing or maybe $25. If you run into problems and most have not, and you are not a registered business then you could be required to have a physical inspection of your business at your expense. We have not heard of this happening to anyone in the area as yet.
Contacts for airlines serving our area:
American Airlines: 800-228-7878 / aacargo.com
Delta: 800-352-2737 / delta.com
Northwest: 800-441-1122 / nwa.com
United: 800-468-1800 / unitedcargo.com
U.S. Air: 888-300-0099 / usairways.com
As always contact VFDA or NFDA if you have questions, concerns or problems!