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Friday, March 24, 2023

CBP Proposes Expanding Advance Data Requirements to Strengthen Air Travel Security

CBP’s proposal will allow it to identify threats earlier in the process, further inhibiting travelers with invalid documents from being issued a boarding pass.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced a proposal that will strengthen international air travel security by expanding existing advance data requirements for travelers on commercial flights to and from the United States. 

CBP published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that will require commercial air carriers to participate in the Document Validation (DocVal) Program. Under DocVal, the CBP system automatically checks carrier-submitted passenger manifest data to ensure the data is accurate and the traveler’s document is valid for travel before responding directly to the carrier for boarding pass processing. 

DocVal is currently in place on a voluntary basis and has provided the airline industry with additional efficiencies by validating traveler documents during the check-in process. Travelers providing complete and correct information are cleared in real time. The process occurs seamlessly behind the scenes. If the document information provided is invalid, DocVal will alert the carrier of the error so travel document issues can be corrected at the first possible point in the traveler’s journey. 

It is also common for travelers to provide telephone and e-mail information to the government as part of an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) or passport application, and travelers also commonly provide telephone and e-mail information to their airline when they secure reservations. Airlines began providing telephone and e-mail information to CBP through the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) on a voluntary basis in December 2020, and there are now 80 airlines that participate in the program and over 200,000 travelers a day are participating. Since there has been strong support for this program by industry and the traveling public, who are most impacted by the requirements, CBP included regulatory supported requirements for airlines to transmit telephone and e-mail as part of this NPRM.   

CBP’s proposal will allow it to identify threats earlier in the process, further inhibiting travelers with invalid documents from being issued a boarding pass. This will enhance security for the traveling public and streamline international travel. 

The DocVal NPRM published in the Federal Register is open to public comments for 60 days. Persons wishing to comment on the proposed rule may access the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for submitting comments. Submissions must include the agency name and docket number: “CBP 2023-0002.” 

Read more at CBP

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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