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CBP Announces Penalty Notices Coming Soon

March 25, 2010 — The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will soon be sending preliminary penalty notices to pilots who failed to submit manifests through the electronic Advance Passenger Information System (e-APIS) for their international flights to or from the U.S. Penalties are assessed against the aircraft pilot in the amount of $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation. 
According to a CBP spokesperson, the penalty notices will read as follows:

“The private aircraft pilot-in-command is responsible for ensuring that the APIS manifest is transmitted to CBP:

  1. In a manner that meets all quality standards: completeness, data element sufficiency, as well as overall compliance with APIS regulation validation rule sets.
  2. In a manner that meets all timeline submission requirements:
    • For flights originally destined for the United States, no later than 60 minutes prior to departure of the aircraft from the foreign port or place; or
    • For flights not originally destined to the United States, but diverted to a U.S. port due to an emergency, no later than 30 minutes prior to arrival; in cases of non compliance, CBP will take into consideration that the pilot may not have been equipped to transmit the manifest and the circumstance of the emergency situation; or
    • For flights departing the United States for a foreign port or place, no later than 60 minutes prior to departure.

Failure to transmit an APIS manifest according to the above guidelines and/or failure to obtain permission to depart from DHS prior to departure (as required under 19 CFR 122.22(b)(6), (c)(5)), may result in penalty case initiation against the pilot-in-command of the aircraft.

For additional information regarding the assessment and mitigation of these penalties, please refer to “Customs Administrative Enforcement Process: Fines, Penalties, Forfeitures and Liquidated Damages” available at www.cbp.gov.

Passenger manifests are required to be submitted through APIS for both outbound and inbound U.S. flights. EAA encourages pilots to review the newly revised Private Air APIS Guide to better understand the CBP border crossing requirements.

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