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November 18, 2008 

CBP Issues Regulation Making Changes to Notification Procedures for Private Aircraft Arriving and Departing the United States

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today published a new regulation in the Federal Register making changes to the procedure for private aircraft to provide advance notice of their intended arrival or departure, and submit manifests of the persons on board. The new process is similar to the one currently in use by commercial aircraft and is intended to standardize advance notice procedures for all CBP airports of entry.

The new regulation will go into effect on December 18, 2008. All parties must comply with the new requirements by May 18, 2009, which is 180 days after the publication date.

Under the new regulation, pilots (or their designee) will be required to submit advance notice and passenger/crew manifest information to CBP via the Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) web portal or other approved system no later than 60 minutes prior to departure. The electronic submission will include essentially the same data elements previously provided through other means. CBP will require that the pilot compare the manifest data to the information on a Department of Homeland Security approved travel document presented by each individual seeking travel onboard the aircraft. This will ensure that the manifest data is correct, that the travel document appears to be valid for travel to the United States, and that the traveler is the person to whom the travel document was issued. Pilots will receive an authorization to depart from CBP from the same system.

The new rule also requires pilots departing from the United States to a foreign location to file notice electronically and obtain permission to depart. Departure clearance has been required for commercial aircraft for some time, and the new rule will make such reporting consistent for all general aviation aircraft through the same web portal.

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