As a part of CBP’s next phase of compliance, along with the completeness and accuracy of data elements, they have begun enforcing the requirement for Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) FROM the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to the U.S., whether the aircraft is pre-inspected or not in the USVI.
1. Change of interpretation for APIS regulations
The regulation, as written, has been interpreted in the past to indicate that travels between the USVI and the U.S. are a “domestic” movement. This is not the case in BOTH directions as far as APIS requirements. Flights leaving the U.S. to the USVI are treated as domestic for APIS purposes. Flights leaving the USVI to the U.S. are not treated as domestic for APIS purposes, regardless of pre-inspection or not, and therefore a transmission is required.
CBP has begun enforcing APIS manifest requirements for these movements from the USVI to the U.S. (regardless of origin of flight).
APIS transmission requirements for a flight from anywhere other than the U.S. to the USVI have not changed, so that means you could potentially submit two inbound APIS transmissions based on your itinerary. For example, a schedule of SVMI-TIST-KFLL would require inbound APIS on both legs. An example of the opposite direction would be KFLL-TIST-SVMI, where only an outbound APIS is needed from TIST to SVMI.
If you are arranging your own APIS, please ensure that proper APIS filing is completed for travel to/from USVI. If you’re utilizing a 3rd-party provider, please confirm that this service is being arranged for your operations to/from USVI. It is important to note that all other processes and procedures for customs clearance and pre-inspection currently remain the same.
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About Laura Everington
With more than 20 years’ experience in the aviation services industry, most in the regulations arena, Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. Manager of Global Regulatory Services, Laura Everington is recognized as one of the business aviation industry’s preeminent authorities on all U.S. and international regulations. Laura and her team serve as liaisons to all the key regulatory bodies, including Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration, all of which regularly consult her for her opinion on rules creation. A naturally gifted orator, Laura, who joined Universal in 1990, is one of the industry’s most requested and respected speakers. By her own estimate, she has presented at more than 100 industry events around the globe on a variety of regulatory topics. She has also given countless interviews to the most read and respected business aviation trade publications. Laura, who is an acting member of the National Business Aviation Associations Security Council, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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