Passenger Facilitation and Control Working Group successfully holds its second Meeting

18 October 2021

The second meeting of the WCO Passenger Facilitation and Control Working Group (PFCWG) took place virtually from 11 to 13 October 2021, chaired by Mr. Paul Campbell from New Zealand, and co-chaired by Dr. Marayam El Hashami of the United Arab Emirates. More than 150 participants from around the world, including observers from the CLIA, IATA, IAPH, ICAO, IMO, Royal Caribbean Group, UNOCT and WHO, participated in the Meeting.

The WG was opened by the WCO Director of Compliance and Facilitation, Mr. Pranab Kumar DAS.  In his Opening Remarks, he stressed that, as the WCO theme of the year notes, “Customs bolstering recovery, renewal and resilience for a sustainable supply chain”, Customs administrations have an important role in supporting the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the reopening of borders and the resumption of international travel. He described that, in order to support this recovery, it is required to respond to an urgent need to establish a global data standard in the maritime environment, similar to aviation’s API/PNR, and its uniform data format, as well as to develop a Compendium of Best Practices for cruise ship processing. The Director also emphasized the importance of collaboration with other international organizations and business, and expressed appreciation for their valuable contribution.

Through the three-day event, PFCWG delegates were updated on the latest developments with the Cruise Ship Compendium of Best Practices for Customs, the Global Data Standard for maritime passengers and the Secretariat Note on the role of Customs in supporting the safe and secure resumption of international travel. Delegates acknowledged the advancement of these priority tasks and supported the draft version of the Compendium’s table of contents, the draft Dataset and the draft Secretariat Note, while affirming the necessity to conduct further discussion on each topics.

The PFCWG had the opportunity to receive both valuable and informative presentations from ICAO and the WHO relating to vaccination details certification. This included information regarding the specification of newly developed ICAO Visible Digital Seals, introduction of the WHO Digital Document of COVID-19 Certificates: Vaccination Status, how to develop and set the dataset for vaccination in each organization. These presentations provided the PFCWG with useful insight to further discussion on data elements relating to traveler health and how they can be provided.

In order to move the priority tasks forward, the PFCWG decided to form three mini-groups. The mini-groups will focus on the Cruise Ship Compendium, the Global Data Standard and the Secretariat Note, respectively, and will be composed of interested Members. Participation in these voluntary mini-groups is still open and additional participants will be called for accordingly the through registered delegates of 2nd PFCWG.

The WG approved the revised Work Plan as a living documents, while indicating to include activities of three mini-groups.