Preceded by little notice, the information issued thus far has been somewhat limited. In brief, however, this security directive places an embargo on the import of live animal cargo unless it can be documented that an "established business relationship" has existed for more than 30 calendar days between the passenger and the airline or shipping agent.
So what does this all mean? Individuals hoping to ship their pets to the US via cargo must be able to show that they've been working with an agent or with the airline for at least a month before flying. The TSA has yet to specifically define what qualifies as an "established business relationship" and how this relationship might be illustrated.
Airlines operating to the US, including Continental, are currently working on short-term solutions for dealing with these restrictions. The rules are currently set to expire in about a month, but it is expected that they will be extended.
This specific directive applies to airlines entering the US. It does not apply to domestic flights within the US.
We will keep you updated as the TSA issues more information about this security directive. Feel free to post comments and ask us your questions, as we are doing our best to stay up to speed with this developing issue.