eAPIS: New Border Crossing Rules Go Into Effect May 18, 2009
SPA needs your feedback of personal experience in border crossings as we continue our dialog with Customs & Border Patrol regarding their new border crossing regulations.
As you know by now, for any flights that depart or return to the USA, Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is implementing a new rule requiring advance notification of the flight and passengers aboard effective at midnight May 17, 2009. You MUST notify CBP via the internet only at least 60 minutes before your departure from any US airport or foreign airport. It applies to any flight outside the Continental US. The system is called Electronic Advance Passenger Information System, or eAPIS.
Now is the time to register with CBP. You will have to await their reply message (may take a couple of days) with your unique Sender ID and initial password. Here’s the link to register, https://eapis.cbp.dhs.gov/
Before you can file a departure, you will have to login to the same CBP site, with the ID and password sent to you and reset your password. CBP is requiring changes to the password every 90 days. After successful login, establish your “Crew & Pilot Information.” You must use the current information on your pilot certificate and passport. If you changed your mailing address, but not your pilot certificate, that could be a problem. Time to get rid of that paper certificate. You will need a certificate that says “English Proficient” by March 2010.
PRINT a copy of everything CBP sends you when you file a manifest, take it with you on the flights, call the CBP facility at your arrival airport in the US at least 60 minutes before your ETA. It is not clear to any CBP personnel whether the eAPIS replaces the normal report we have made for years.
Please also see Robert Murray’s story “Border Crossings” on this blog for one man’s personal experiences and advice on coping with this new rule.
If you encounter any problems, get the CBP officer’s name or badge number. Please keep a well documented record of your experiences and let SPA know your challenges and successes. We would like to help document any problems first-hand.