APIS Requirements for U.S. Virgin Islands – Updates to Processes
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.
If you have any questions about this article, contact me at email@example.com.