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eAPIS A Follow Up

June 18, 2009

Not surprisingly the new CBP system known as eAPIS has raised a lot of questions about what it does and does not do. Basically it provides CBP with the means to vet you and your passengers before you leave and again before you return from an international flight.

eAPIS is not a flight plan. You still have to file an ADCUS type flight plan with a FSS or one of the online services. And it is advisable to contact Canpass by telephone, if that’s the direction you are heading, to alert them about your point of entry and your ETA.

The minimum lead time for a CBP flight plan is one hour. Canpass wants two hours. And, if you are returning to the US via an approved seaplane landing area it’s best to give them as much notice as possible, if the officers have to travel to your rendezvous point.

Supposedly your eAPIS clearance, which must be submitted electronically, will come to your e-mail address within an hour but it’s advisable to file your request as early as possible in case there are problems.

Similarly, filing an eAPIS for a return flight does not take the place of a flight plan, nor the need to call CBP by telephone. The other surprise is that CBP may ask you to use Form 178. And for the next year or two, you may find that each Customs facility has their own priorities.


AOPA has put together an on-line course for dealing with the eAPIS registration process, that walks you through a typical cross border flight.   

What we were hoping to hear from the various aviation associations is that they persuaded Homeland Security / CBP not to impose this program on general aviation. But DHS seems determined to expand their control over all aspects of aviation and by trying to explain the new regulations don’t assume that we agree with what is taking place. We all need to keep the pressure on our elected officials to restore common sense and balance to security screening in this country.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 1, 2009 9:49 am

    We fly to various places in ontario. We plan to fly to Quebec City. We enjoy flying to Kilarney,Ontario for fish and chips. We heard about apis but I flew to Kilarney as normal July 09. I really did not think it could become law. Canada and the Unitd States have a relationship that is very different than any other. We fly up for fishing, camping, events, and on and on. We support each other, the canadians supported us after September 11. We made it back into the US , barely. The apis law is insane. They are taking our hard won freedom away. AOPA, COPA, SPA, EAA should fight with all they have to put an end to ePIS. Our polititians should fight to preserve our freedom. We have a small plane just me and my wife and camping gear, the constantly changing weather of the upper great lakes, not feeling well mid flight, a busier than normal morning at Gore Bay, a pay telephone drops are call to customs, no computer available, low ceilings, weather not cooperating, we want to spend another night, windy cross winds, rain, hot, tired, exhausted, flight plans filed, flight plans canceled, customs called, head winds and tail winds, mistakes, poor planing, little planning, we have a bit of time off work, the plane is available, two days one night in the tent and fish and chips at Kilarney, Ontario. Please do not let them take our freedom. Lets fight this one. Gary Thompson Sumner, Michigan

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