Advance Passenger Information System (APIS)

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CBP eAPIS Private Aircraft Newsletter: March 2011

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has launched a newsletter to provide private aircraft operators with updates and best practices for complying with Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) requirements. The newsletter, created with input from NBAA and other stakeholders, is intended to be a monthly publication.

Dear eAPIS User:

Because we have received many common questions, we at The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Private Aircraft APIS Office are working to address current issues and frequently asked questions through a newsletter format.  The information is intended to assist private aircraft pilots in preparing and submitting Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) manifests by addressing common mistakes, best practices, and regulatory requirements. 

The Private Aircraft eAPIS Newsletter is being published through the collaborative efforts of partnering aviation trade organizations.  The contributors for this newsletter are:

AOPA – Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
COPA – Canadian Owners and Pilots Association
NBAA – National Business Aviation Association
EAA – Experimental Aircraft Association

Thanks to all these organizations for their continued partnership and assistance.

In this newsletter, CBP is addressing the following topics:

  1. I have a new email address. How do I change the email address associated with eAPIS?
  2. What documents can I use to travel by Private Aircraft?
  3. Do I have to retransmit when I make changes to a previously submitted manifest?
  4. Where can I find contact information for a CBP Airport?

I have a new email address. How do I change the email address associated with eAPIS?

All email correspondence (electronic clearances, activation keys, etc.) regarding your eAPIS account are sent to the email address that was provided during enrollment to eAPIS.  As a reminder, you can always check the email address associated with your eAPIS account.  It is listed on the “Private Aviation – Manifest Options” page.

You can change or update the email address associated with your eAPIS account by completing the following steps:

  1. Log-in to eAPIS;
  2. Agree to Terms and Conditions;
  3. On the “Private Aviation – Manifest Options” page, select “Modify primary account holder information” under the “Manage Account” heading.
  4. Update or change your email address as necessary.
  5. Click “Submit” to make the changes.

What documents can I use to travel by Private Aircraft?

The APIS submission for each traveler must include a DHS-approved travel document when required for travel by law and/or regulation. For APIS purposes, the travel document data required for entry into the United States is the same travel document data required for departure from the United States. 

In general, the DHS-approved travel document for travelers aboard private aircraft is a valid, unexpired passport.  When a traveler has an alien registration number, it must be submitted.

The eAPIS web portal affords the user the ability to submit up to two travel documents for each traveler.  For pilots of private aircraft, the DHS-approved travel document used to make entry in to the United States (i.e., passport, alien registration card, etc.) is required in the first document field and a pilot’s license is required in the second document field.

There are some rare instances where a traveler may choose to have two travel documents submitted (most likely an alien registration card and a passport) on his/her behalf.  In any case, a second document entry that is not specifically listed in the available document types, such as a driver license or a state-issued identification card, is not required and should not be submitted.

Do I have to retransmit when I make changes to a previously submitted manifest?

Yes.  If changes to an already transmitted manifest are necessary (travelers are added, aircraft is changed, etc.), an updated and amended manifest must be retransmitted to CBP.

But, amendments regarding flight cancellation, expected time of arrival/departure (ETA, ETD) or changes in arrival/departure locations, to an already transmitted manifest may be submitted telephonically, by radio, or through any other existing processes and procedures.

This question is usually asked with regard to arrivals in to the United States.  Changes in ETA and arrival location must be coordinated with CBP in order to ensure that landing rights or permission to land has been secured and that CBP resources are available to process the arriving aircraft.

Where can I find contact information for a CBP Airport?

We’ve compiled a list of airports where CBP Inspection Services are normally available for non-precleared private aircraft arrivals.

Because airports have different operational hours and different operational requirements (e.g., Landing Rights, Overflight Exemptions, Permission to Land, etc.), pilots should contact the CBP airport of arrival directly to better understand and confirm local operating procedures and requirements that may affect the flight.  Coordination is critical, especially for arrivals in to ports where CBP is not permanently staffed.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions for newsletter content, please contact Private.Aircraft.Support@DHS.gov.