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U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP) Preclearance

If you are flying to the U.S. from one of 15 locations in Europe, the Middle East or North America, you can save time through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Preclearance program. This program allows private aircraft flights from certain locations to the U.S. to complete entry procedures at their departure airport.

Eligibility for CBP preclearance

You must depart from one of the following designated preclearance locations:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Aruba
  • The Bahamas – Freeport or Nassau
  • Bermuda
  • Canada – Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, or Winnipeg
  • Ireland – Dublin or Shannon (Jetex FBO location)

You must fly directly to the U.S. airport designated by CBP during the preclearance procedure.

How Preclearance Works

Applying for preclearance, and operating a pre-cleared flight, basically follows a six-step process:

  1. Request services – Request an appointment for preclearance services with CBP, using procedures set by the Preclearance Port Director. Information about the flight, passengers and pilot are required.
  2. Submit APIS – Submit your Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) manifest to CBP no less than one hour before the scheduled preclearance processing time.
  3. Preclearance approval – CBP will email notice of approval for preclearance services, including the appointment confirmation number, APIS submission information, and Preclearance processing information.
  4. The preclearance procedure – When the aircraft arrives at the preclearance facility, CBP conducts the same procedures that would be performed by their agents at an Airport of Entry (AOE) in the U.S. Travelers and luggage are screened and the aircraft is inspected.
  5. Departure – After preclearance services conclude, you and your crew, passengers and luggage board the aircraft. The crew secures the aircraft door, which may not be reopened before departure. CBP at the preclearance facility coordinates your communication with CBP at the U.S. airport of arrival.
  6. Arrival – Upon arrival, CBP Agricultural Specialists ensure proper disposal of regulated garbage, and passengers and luggage are subject to re-inspection. However, if your aircraft must land at an airport other than the facility designated in the APIS, preclearance approval will be voided. You are required to arrive at a U.S. AOE and undergo customs clearance again.

The preclearance program is in expansion mode with facilities in the Dominican Republic and Sweden expected to open in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

Our experienced Jetex representatives are happy to assist you with your CBP Pre-clearance application. Get in touch with us today.

Jetex Dubai
+971 4 2124000

Jetex Miami
+1 305 306 4000

Now that you have established eligibility for U.S. Customs Preclearance, it’ll be useful to figure out the customs processes involved. Alternatively, read more about other permits and permissions required when flying to the U.S.