U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with Carnival Cruise Line, has expanded the use of facial biometrics into the debarkation process at the Port of Baltimore, becoming the latest seaport to modernize efforts to revolutionize cruise travel.
“As cruise travel resumes around our nation’s ports, CBP is excited to partner with Carnival Cruise Line and the Maryland Port Administration to deliver a safe and secure identity verification process for cruise travelers at the Port of Baltimore cruise terminal,” said Stephen Maloney, CBP’s Director of Field Operations for the Baltimore Field Office. “CBP’s public-private partnerships to expand biometric facial comparison at our air, land and seaports of entry has been critical to enhancing our nation’s security, streamlining travel efficiency and improving customer experience, while protecting the privacy of all travelers.”
The enhanced arrival process using facial biometrics verifies the traveler’s identity within two seconds and is more than 98% accurate. When debarking the cruise vessel at a U.S. seaport, passengers will pause for a photo that will be compared to the traveler’s existing passport or visa photo in secure DHS systems to biometrically verify their identity.
U.S. travelers and select foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and wish to opt out of the new biometric process can simply request a manual document check from a CBP Officer consistent with existing requirements for admission into the United States.
To date, facial biometric comparison technology is available at 14 seaports across the United States and has been successfully used to process arriving passengers on cruise vessels in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Texas, California, Washington, Louisiana, Alabama, Puerto Rico, and now Maryland.
Currently, more than 187 million travelers have participated in the biometric facial comparison process at air, land, and seaports of entry.