“Following recent incidents with improvised explosive devices, the Secretary of State for Transport has issued directions prohibiting the carriage by air of ink or toner cartridges, with immediate effect. For the avoidance of doubt the definition of ink or toner cartridges are defined as a cartridge weighing more than 500g designed for the use in printing equipment such as printers, photocopiers and fax machines.
In order to comply with this direction fully, Parcelforce Worldwide will not be able to accept any ink or toner cartridges destined to Northern Ireland or the Channel islands or any destination overseas on any Parcelforce Service until further notice.
This impacts both inland and international carriage of ink and toner cartridges by Royal Mail (much inland postage is still carried by plane).
Post Office, ParcelForce and Royal Mail staff have been instructed to check customs labels to see if a product contains printer ink. Seeing as the person sending an item is the one who fills in a customs form then it shouldn't be beyond the wit of the average terrorist to write "Bread Bin" instead of "Printer ink" or "Bomb."
It seems this handy new prohibition will prevent businesses or citizens in the UK sending 'Printer cartridges' to Yemen. Presumably this will stop Al Qaeda receiving used toner packs for recycling into environmentally friendly high explosives. It won't stop them stuffing table lamps, beanbags, hollowed out books, video games consoles, DVD recorders, toasters or anything else that can packed with Semtex or TNT. Unless there was some specific reason printer cartridges were chosen as a method of concealing an explosive device,maybe concealing the odour or something, I can't see how this helps.
Will this change make air cargo safer? Or is it just a do something announcement?
Canon recycle all their European cartridges in Bretagne. Bound to be a problem for many of the major suppliers of toner.