INS proposes passenger matching

Federal Register notice

The Immigration and Naturalization Service proposed a new rule Jan. 3 requiring airlines and shippers to electronically submit a list of passengers arriving in and departing from the United States.

The proposed INS rule would require all passengers arriving or departing, as well as crew members, to provide the following information: name; date of birth; citizenship; sex; passport number and country of issuance; country of residence; U.S. visa number and other details of its issuance; address while in the United States; and, when it applies, alien registration number.

The information will be compared against different databases seeking to match the names of those on law enforcement watch lists or other data alert network.

The rule proposes to implement Section 402 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, which required the new procedure to tighten border security in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Although most airlines already have been providing manifests of incoming passengers, it is the first time airlines and vessels will be required to electronically submit a list of passengers within 15 minutes of leaving the United States, according to David O'Connor, regional director of the International Air Transport Association in Washington, D.C.

Another new provision requires manifests to list information about crew members and others getting rides, such as airline employees catching a free flight if a seat is available, he said.

It also is requiring private companies as well as governments to convert their electronic systems to United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport, an international standard for data formats.

The rule is likely to cost the government about $124 million and the private sector $42 million, according to the notice published in the Federal Register.

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