#Providenciales, July 29, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – On June 1, 2019, the Advance Passenger Information System, commonly referred to as APIS was officially launched within the Turks and Caicos Islands.
This project is a significant initiative by the Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services Key Programme Strategies 2019/20 for improving efficiencies and enhancing border security.
This initiative commenced on May 24, 2017 for this territory with the signing of the MOU between the United States of America (USA) and the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). The journey to June 1, 2019 culminated with the signing of a MOU between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Turks and Caicos Islands that granted consent to the territory to sign on to the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) on November 19, 2018 by the Governor and the than Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for immigration.
APIS has been hailed regionally as a significant system in border protection and modernizing of border security through the cooperation agreements between the United States of America and the Caribbean counterparts.
APIS is an automated system established for aviation and maritime operators. It has the capability of enhancing border security in these Islands and over the region by supplying law enforcement officers with data on passengers and crew members prior to arrival and departure from CARICOM Member States and Associate Members, United Kingdom, United States and Canada. This system was established by the US Customs Border Protection (CBP) in May 2009.
The TCI now derive the following benefits from APIS.
- Details of arriving/departing passengers are received prior to the arrival of the flight.
- Prior to departure, law enforcement officials know in advance whether potential or known offenders or inadmissible persons are travelling.
- Adequate time to utilize resources more efficiently, thereby reducing workload through the use of technology and automated means.
- Improved efficiency at Immigration counters, hence improving the important tourism experience at our air and seaports.
The introduction of APIS present the TCI capabilities for transmission of passenger details to the point of destination well in advance of the passengers’ arrival. This is a very positive step towards achieving both facilitation and compliance goals.
The TCI will use APIS as a decision making tool that Immigration and Customs primarily can employ before a passenger is permitted to board an aircraft.
The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, labour and Employment Service would like to thank all stakeholders for their support in making this important project a reality. Special thanks to our regional partner, Joint Regional Communication Center, team at the Computer Information Technology Unit and special recognition to Senior Immigration Latoya Mitchell, Project Leader.