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U.S. authorities change entry regulations

Travel News Asia 23 September 2005

From 4 October 2005, the USA is changing its entry regulations. Airlines will then be obliged to transmit the first U.S. address of passengers to the U.S. authorities at take-off. The U.S. authorities are currently communicating with the airlines on how to implement these new regulations.

The new elements in the extended data acquisition ("APIS Final Rule") is the first address during the stay in the USA, the country of residence of the passenger, the origin and ultimate destination airport, information as to whether the passenger is in transit, the reservation code as well as the type of document. The only exceptions to the registration of addresses are U.S. citizens, passengers with Green Cards and those who are passing through the USA in transit to a third country; apart from that, passengers on flights from the USA.

As a consequence of the attacks of 11 September 2001, airlines have been legally obliged since November 2001 to provide advance notice of passport data to the U.S. authorities via the Advanced Passport Information System" (APIS) for all flights to the USA. In this connection, passport data such as first and family name, nationality, passport number, date of birth and gender are registered electronically by scanners from the machine-readable passports at the check-in for USA flights and passed on to the U.S. immigration authorities.

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