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Required advance passenger information

In an effort to increase security in the area of international air travel, many countries have instituted an Advance Passenger Information System (APIS/API) that affects most international flights.

APIS/API

APIS is an automated data collection system capable of performing queries on air passengers prior to their arrival into an applicable country.

U.S. flights: In addition to information required for most international flights, you need to provide:

  • Complete street address (including zip code) where you will be staying while in the U.S.
  • If you are connecting to a cruise ship: the name of the vessel and the city/state of point of embarkation

CBSA API

The CBSA is authorized to collect advance arrival information (under subsection 107.1(1) of the Customs Act and paragraph 148(1)(d) of the IRPA), as well as advance departure information and exit records (section 93 of the Customs Act and section 11 of the EIR). The CBSA uses the prescribed information to identify persons who may pose a threat to Canada's safety or security.

For travellers coming to Canada, these persons may be subject to investigation, and may undergo closer questioning or examination upon arrival. The CBSA also uses the prescribed information to validate, prior to departure, that all incoming air travellers hold a prescribed document to enter Canada or are exempt from that requirement, or are a prescribed person.

For departing travellers, the CBSA will use advance exit information only to better identify high-risk persons and goods that depart, or intend to depart, Canada. CBSA entry and exit records may be shared with other government departments for immigration, social benefits or law enforcement purposes. All travellers may request a copy of the prescribed entry and exit information provided about them by making a request in writing to the CBSA.

Any traveller who believes that the prescribed information provided about them was incorrect may make a request in writing to the CBSA to have the information corrected. Any traveller may complain in writing to the CBSA if they believe that the CBSA has unfairly refused to provide access to the prescribed information provided about them, has not corrected the prescribed information provided about them, or has otherwise incorrectly handled the prescribed information provided about them. Travellers can obtain more information by consulting the API/PNR, IAPI and Air Exit programs website.

How is the passenger data collected?

The data is collected by the air carrier during the check-in process and submitted electronically to Customs prior to the passenger's arrival at their destination.

When is the passenger information provided to Customs?

Air carriers must submit passenger information within fifteen minutes after the aircraft departs.

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