Jan. 6, 2013

Last month, NBAA reported that Mexico adopted legislation requiring private operators to submit API data effective on Dec. 31, 2013. That mandate was quickly implemented in accordance with Mexican Instituto Nacional de Migracion law, which follows the previously established requirements held for commercial operations.

Submissions must include data elements related to the flight, and all passengers and crew members. Data reporting must be done electronically after doors have closed for flights departing for Mexico with duration of less than one hour, and 30 minutes prior to departure for longer flights.

The requirement for private (Part-91) flights developed primarily from a need for enhanced security measures in Mexico as well as a desire for better accounting of taxes paid by arriving and departing passengers. But NBAA Operations Specialist Peter Korns explains that there has been confusion among operators over the validity of, and compliance with this new law, and that even some airport officials in Mexico have not been fully informed of the requirements.

Tools for Compliance With the New Requirements

For Members wondering how to best comply with Mexico’s new API requirements, Korns noted that NBAA has a tool available, and that other companies in the industry have also developed tools designed to take the complexity out of the compliance process.

For example, Members may now submit the required information via the established electronic transmission service offered through NBAA’s partnership with ARINC Direct Business Aviation Solutions. The shared portal, which was established in 2009 following a request-for-proposal issued to industry vendors, was developed to comply specifically with the Customs and Border Protection API requirements for general aviation and commercial aircraft.

The APIS program has been active since that time, and the portal has now been updated to collect and provide API data to travel to and from Mexico.

“Through this service, Members have the option to use an easy method of transmitting the required data to Mexico,” Korns said. “Populated manifests are automatically saved by the system and that data can then be easily accessed for future trips. At the same time, should operators wish to use another provider for the service, they have a range of choices among highly qualified companies that also provide services for complying with API-data requirements.”

As NBAA continues to work with Mexican immigration authorities to get more legislative clarification, operators are urged to continue submitting API data or anticipate heavy fines for non-compliance.

Those interested may access the NBAA-ARINC API System.

For more information contact NBAA’s Operations Service Group at ops@nbaa.org or (202) 783-9250.