CBAA/NBAA Cross-Border Issues Conference

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Improvements in CANPASS, CBP Procedures Among Issues Discussed at Cross-Border Conference

December 17, 2012

Recent changes in how U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processes entry requests and information submitted via the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) was just one of the new developments discussed during the recent Cross-Border Issues Conference, which was held Dec. 6 and 7 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

The event, which served as an opportunity to discuss the most pressing concerns surrounding travel between Canada and the United States, was co-hosted by NBAA and the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA).

"While our industry has been fully compliant in transmitting APIS information for any flight entering or departing the U.S. for an international destination, CBP is now taking a closer look at the quality and accuracy of the information being transmitted," said Scott O'Brien, NBAA senior manager, finance & tax policy. "For example, CBP may now crosscheck a pilot or passenger's APIS information against an image of that person's passport, to further validate its accuracy.

"Members should not only be aware of this process," he continued, "but also take steps to make sure the information is accurate, whether they self-submit information or rely on a flight plan service provider to do it for them."

Alec Attfield, with the Canada Border Services Agency, spoke about best practices for clearing customs into Canada, including recent improvements to the Canadian Passenger Accelerated Service System trusted-traveler processing service. "In the past, there were three telephone reporting centers for [aircraft] operators to call, but now those centers have been consolidated into one in order to provide better customer service, and a more streamlined and professional experience," O'Brien said.

The event also had a transatlantic flair, with a session devoted to the latest information about the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) and what recent developments mean for operators flying across the Atlantic Ocean. Learn more about EU-ETS.

"The event was a unique opportunity for regulators from both countries to meet face-to-face, and directly interact with Members from both associations," O'Brien concluded. "It also gave Attendees a chance to become better educated about international procedures that impact operators throughout North America."

The close geographic and economic relationship between the U.S. and Canada, and the many business aircraft operators from both countries that frequently conduct cross-border flights, have made the CBAA/NBAA Cross-Border Issues Conference an important annual event for the business aviation industry in both countries.