U.S. Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS)
What is the APIS?
Many countries require aircraft passenger and crew data to be submitted to the appropriate governmental agency prior to the aircraft entering or departing the country. The Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) enables commercial air carriers such as airlines and aircraft charter operators to electronically transmit passenger data to the required government entities. However, many countries—including the U.S.—also require private aircraft to submit APIS information prior to entry or departure.
In the U.S., the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)—a branch of the Department of Homeland Security—receives the APIS information, which it uses to clear the crew and passengers prior to aircraft departure. You cannot board the aircraft for entry into the U.S. until you are cleared by the CBP.
Generally speaking, the traveler information transmitted through the APIS is the same data found on your passport:
• Full name (first name, last name, and middle name if applicable)
• Date of birth
The type of identifying document (usually a passport), document number, country that issued the document, and the document’s date of expiration are also transmitted through APIS. APIS data also includes information about the aircraft you are traveling on, the aircraft operator, and crew members on board.
APIS Reporting Requirements for Private Aircraft
If you’re traveling on your own aircraft or company-owned aircraft to or from the U.S., your pilot must electronically transmit APIS information for each person on board the aircraft through the CBP eAPIS website. Aircraft arrival and departure information must also be included in the eAPIS submission, and the CBP must receive this information no later than 60 minutes prior to departure (whether your aircraft is arriving or departing the U.S.). Failure to submit accurate APIS information can result in delays at customs or even substantial fines if the failure is deemed intentional. As your third-party designee, your Jetex representative can submit this information for you.
There are a few oddities and exceptions to the private aircraft APIS regulations:
• If you are flying to the U.S. from the U.S. Virgin Islands, other provisions apply, including the submission of a notice of arrival though the APIS.
• If your aircraft departs and arrives in the U.S. and overflies foreign airspace but does NOT land at a foreign airport, the APIS requirements do not apply.
• If your aircraft overflies U.S. airspace but does not land or depart from a U.S. airport, the APIS requirements do not apply.
• Diplomatic flights do not fall under APIS requirements (since they register through the Diplomatic Clearance Application System).
To avoid missing out on submission of any important documents, your Jetex representative will assist you in navigating the paperwork process.
Master Crew List (MCL)
In addition to submitting passenger information, commercial air carriers and charter operators must submit a Master Crew List (MCL) to the CBP. The MCL lists all crew members who may operate or fly on that company’s aircraft, including pilot, co-pilot, flight attendant, and relief crew member. If you are flying on a privately-owned aircraft, an MCL is not required since the crew information will be submitted through APIS.
Our experienced Jetex representatives are happy to assist you with your APIS application. Get in touch with us today.
+971 4 2124000
+1 305 306 4000
Now that you have filed the passengers information, perhaps you will also be eligible for Customs Border Preclearance at your airport of departure. If you are, read more about U.S. CBP processes or explore other permits and permissions required.