WCO Workshop on the Use of PNR in the Asia Pacific region

03 June 2015

The WCO conducted a Regional Workshop on the Use of Passenger Name Records (PNR) in Kashiwa, Japan, from 26 to 29 May 2015, in collaboration with the WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB A/P) and the WCO Regional Training Center based in Japan. A total of 38 people, including speakers from the WCO Secretariat, the region’s WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices, and US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP), took part in this capacity-building event sponsored by the Japanese Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF-Japan).

At the Opening Session, Mr. Miroru Jitsuhara, Managing Director of Japan’s CTI, Mr. François Remue, Technical Attaché of the WCO Secretariat, and Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P and the Workshop facilitator, stressed the significance of the use of advance passenger information for Customs risk assessment in dealing with the increasing volume of air passengers, continued illicit trafficking in contraband, and limited Customs resources. The speakers also encouraged participants to establish personal networks and to develop close relationships to facilitate future information and experience sharing.

The Workshop programme was designed to showcase a number of good practices from the WCO Recommendation on the Use of API and PNR for Efficient and Effective Customs Control (June 2012). Having heard a series of challenges in contending with increasing passenger volumes and the associated risk in terms of Customs offences, Mr. Remue gave participants an overview of the international instruments available in the acquisition process and the use of PNR. Mr. Jerry Kaplan from USCBP, and other participants whose administrations are already using PNR, shared their experience of risk assessment and targeting. Practical examples of coordination with other border agencies were also discussed.

The Workshop included a one-day field visit to the Haneda Airport Branch of Tokyo Customs. With the generous support of the Haneda Airport Branch, participants observed passenger selection and control practices, as well as a demonstration of equipment to analyse suspicious subjects detected through Customs inspection at the airport.

The Workshop was successful thanks to the active participation of the attendees. However, it should be stressed that the success of such an event also rests on the commitment and follow-through by participants to effectively implement the internationally recognized good practices related to passenger control which were discussed during the event. These include the use of API and PNR data to strengthen frontline officials’ capacity to effectively control passengers and their belongings, as emphasized repeatedly throughout the Workshop.

More information
Contact the WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building at rocb@rocbap.org