DHS Finalizes e-APIS Rule

 - November 18, 2008, 10:44 AM

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today issued a final rule for plans to move forward with implementation of its proposed Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (e-APIS), which requires general aviation pilots to file passenger names and other information to government officials before crossing a U.S. border. While the final rule becomes effective December 18, private aircraft pilots or their designees will not have to comply with the rules’ requirements until May 18. Specifically, the final rule requires electronic submission to U.S. Customs of passenger manifest information for each individual traveling on board an aircraft arriving in the U.S. from another country or vice versa. Under this rule, Customs must receive the data no later than 60 minutes before the aircraft departs. “We have expressed significant concerns about this program with DHS officials, and we’re disappointed with this decision,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “International GA flights are already subject to the same security requirements as the airlines, and it seems the DHS doesn’t recognize that.” The DHS has also issued a fact sheet to help clarify the new rules.