Print firms face restrictions after bomb plot

Distributors and importers of printing equipment will be subject to new security measures following the discovery last week of an explosive device on board a UPS courier aircraft at East Midlands Airport. The plot was only uncovered after a senior Al Qaeda operative turned himself in to authorities

Distributors and importers of printing equipment will be subject to new security measures following the discovery last week of an explosive device on board a UPS courier aircraft at East Midlands Airport.

The plot was only uncovered after a senior Al Qaeda operative turned himself in to authorities.

The device, which was contained within a printer toner cartridge, failed to detonate, but the home secretary Theresa May has nevertheless announced a series of restrictions on imports of printing supplies, which are expected to last for at least a month.

In a statement to the House of Commons, May said: "We will prohibit the carriage of these items [toner cartridges] by air cargo into, via or from the UK unless they originate from a known consignor - a regular shipper with security arrangements approved by the Department for Transport."

Other measures announced on Monday afternoon, such as a ban on individuals transporting printer cartridges over 500g in their hand luggage, are extremely unlikely to affect the channel.

May added that the government was seeking to work closely with the aviation industry and other parties to devise new long-term security measures.

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