Sept. 15, 2015
Before departing for Colombia, aircraft operators must now file an advanced passenger information system (APIS) manifest for all crew and passengers.
The Colombian Department of Immigration (Migración Colombia) has been enforcing since April the mandatory submission of APIS following the passage of a law in January. The new regulation applies to all commercial, non-scheduled commercial (charter), private non-revenue, cargo, military and air ambulance operations.
“They prefer that you submit 12 hours before, or 40 minutes before if you can’t make 12 hours, but it is absolutely required at door close,” said JVincent Clemente, product manager of security and regulatory services for World Fuel Services/Colt International. The timing is the same for departures from the South American country: three notifications, the first at least 12 hours prior to the scheduled departure, a second at least 40 minutes prior and a third at door close.
“While there is no exact, defined fine amount, Colombia APIS legislation does specify that non-compliance is subject to penalties and legal action,” said Clemente. “We are not aware of any instances of non-compliance as of yet.”
Before submitting APIS data to Colombian authorities, an operator must register with Migración Colombia’s System Information to Report Foreigners. Registering involves establishing a user ID, password, airline code and unique email address.
Similar to other countries in the region, Colombia requires completion of a detailed Excel file with required information such as departure and arrival airport IATA codes, passenger and crew names, date of birth, country of birth, nationality, passport number and checked bag quantity.
Colombia uses the Rockwell Collins ARINC border management system, which is also used in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and the 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies of the Caribbean Community.
Clemente suggests that business aircraft operators ask their international trip-planning vendor about crew visas for any location they want to visit within the country.
“Crew visa limits have recently changed and are now valid for up to nine days,” said Clemente, but he added that requirements can change. “This can leave operators on the ground in a country without the proper documents for their crew and/or passengers.”