Advance Passenger Information System (APIS)

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CBP Responses to Specific NBAA Comments

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) first issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on APIS requirements for private aircraft in September 2007. At that time, NBAA and many member companies expressed serious concerns about the proposal. In response to these concerns, CBP did make a number of modifications to the final rule. While the final rule still requires the submission of passenger and aircraft information using the Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS), the comments filed by NBAA led to changes that will assist operators in complying with the rule.

 

NBAA Comment:
CBP failed to consider that private aircraft often travel to areas of the world where internet access may not be available. Operators should be allowed to utilize other means of communication (i.e. telephone) to make APIS transmissions. 
CBP Response:

Certain elements of previously submitted arrival and/or departure information (i.e., flight cancellation, expected time of arrival and changes in arrival location) may now be amended via telephone, radio or by existing processes and procedures if access to the Internet is unavailable.

On a limited case-by-case basis, CBP may permit a pilot to submit or update notice of arrival and arrival/departure manifest information telephonically when unforeseen circumstances preclude submission of the information via eAPIS.

NBAA Comment:
For many private aircraft operators, the passenger manifest can change frequently, even within one hour of departure. NBAA recommends that CBP simply require an approval prior to departure, regardless of when the operator submits the manifest.
CBP Response:

If manifest changes occur less than 60 minutes prior to departure, the pilot is only required to receive a new clearance from CBP prior to departing, it is not necessary to wait an additional 60 minutes.

In most cases, an automated analysis of passenger information will allow CBP to respond quickly to any manifest changes.

NBAA Comment:
The proposed rule requires operators to submit transponder codes at least 60 minutes prior to departure. In most cases, the transponder code is not issued this far in advance and may also be modified during flight.
CBP Response:
CBP agrees, the transponder code will no longer be listed as a required data element.