What does APIS demand? What countries require this data? Here’s what you need to know about APIS – Advance Passenger Information System.
There are many regulatory concerns that you must take into consideration when planning an international flight. Not only do you have to ensure you are following the regulations for your home country, but you also must ensure you adhere to all of the entry and departure requirements for the country or countries you will visit while abroad. From customs to immigrations, there are vast numbers of customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) procedures to take into account to ensure full compliance during the planning stages of your flight.
Advance Passenger Information System, more familiarly known as APIS, is becoming more common for countries trying to enhance security into their respective homelands. Many countries now require APIS submissions into and out of their country, and we are seeing an active trend of that number steadily increasing. Some countries, such as those included in the CARICOM forum, require the notifications to be sent for flights within the countries. Some of the locations that currently require APIS submissions are as noted:
**This includes Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St Vincent/Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago
While the interface for each country may vary, the basic information that is required remains pretty consistent across the board. The standard data most countries require are below:
• Full name; must be exactly as listed on the traveler’s passport
• Date of birth
• Passport number, county of issue, and expiry date
• Non-U.S. residents are required to provide a local address while in the U.S.
There are several ways you can submit APIS notifications. Most of the countries have their own portal or interface that you can access directly. You must register on the portal before your first submission and then are able to access as required. Many of your third-party service providers have in-house systems built and approved to submit the notifications on your behalf. For countries outside of the U.S., you may also ask the local ground handling agent to assist with the notifications. Keep in mind: APIS submissions do not qualify for customs arrangements. You must also ensure you call your destination customs and border protection (CBP) office and get the proper clearance as well.
However you choose, the notifications must be sent based on the requirements of the respective country to and from which you are traveling. While countries such as Colombia do not have a published or minimum lead time requirement, there are countries, such as the U.S., that require submissions with a minimum and maximum lead time. It is very important to familiarize yourself with each country’s requirements so you do not risk having your submission fall out of the system and jeopardize your compliance.
If you have any questions regarding any requirements for a country’s APIS requirements, always consult with your third-party service provider. You can rest assured that they have the most current regulation requirements and can ensure your full compliance for a smooth operation.