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WCO holds a successful 10th Session of the WCO/IATA/ICAO API-PNR

28 noviembre 2016

Delegates from the WCO, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) met at WCO Headquarters on 21 and 22 November 2016 to discuss matters relating to advance passenger data in the framework of the WCO/IATA/ICAO Advance Passenger Information (API) – Passenger Name Record (PNR) Contact Committee. Chaired by Mr. Jean-Guy Brin (Canada), the 10th Session of the Contact Committee was attended by 84 delegates from the WCO, ICAO and IATA as well as from other international organizations. In her opening remarks, Ms. Ana Hinojosa, Director of the WCO Compliance and Facilitation Directorate, explained that the work of the Contact Committee in maintaining the API and PNR Guidelines is aligned with the WCO’s security initiatives, specifically those on passenger control.

During the session, Committee members finalized and adopted the update of the "Management Summary on Passenger-related Information", known as the "Umbrella Document", which provides a high-level executive briefing describing and distinguishing between the different sources and systems for passenger-related information. The update of the document is aimed at enhancing the consistency of the terms used therein, as well as reflecting recent developments relating to advance passenger data.

Contact Committee delegates noted the increased demand from countries to implement API and PNR systems. In this regard, new "Guidance on how to build API-PNR systems" was proposed and developed by Members during the intersession, in order to provide insight into the important aspects that need to be considered when implementing API-PNR systems. The draft of the Guidance was discussed during the session and received comments and further input from Committee members. Delegates adopted the new Guidance, in principle, as a living document and they will provide further input in writing during the intersession, prior to the document’s submission for endorsement by the WCO Permanent Technical Committee (PTC) in April 2017.

Mrs. Teresa Hardy (United Kingdom) and Mrs. Janice Koich (Delta Airlines), Co-Chairs of the PNRGOV Working Group, the body responsible for maintaining technical standards and guidance material on PNR data under the auspices of the IATA, provided the session with an update on the work done by the Working Group and on its work plan concerning the PNRGOV standards maintenance process. The Co-Chairs also highlighted the work carried out by the Working Group to examine issues concerning the quality of PNR data. Additionally, the Co-Chairs presented the deliverables produced by the Working Group for endorsement by the Contact Committee.

The session was provided with an update on the latest developments concerning the European Union (EU) PNR Directive by the Delegates of EU, who described the main provisions of the Directive mandating EU Member States to develop "Passenger Information Units". Following the update, the Delegate of Canada shared his country’s experience of establishing a bilateral agreement between the EU and Canada to enable PNR data transfer.

The key outcomes of the 9th Session of the ICAO Facilitation Panel held in May 2016 were presented by the Delegate of the ICAO, who highlighted the proposal to update Annex 9 to the Chicago Convention to make the implementation of API mandatory by its Members. If adopted by the ICAO Council, the updated Standard on API will become effective in July 2017.

The Contact Committee undertook technical work on the maintenance of the API Message Implementation Guide by processing a Data Maintenance Request (DMR) submitted by the United Kingdom and by discussing the development of the XML format for API, working together with the WCO Data Model Project Team (DMPT) and the IATA PNRGOV Working Group.

The Contact Committee re-elected Mr. Jean-Guy Brin to serve as Chairperson of the 11th Session of the Contact Committee, and elected Mr. Debi Prasad Dash (India) to serve as Vice-Chairperson.

Lively discussions took place among participants on a wide range of topics, with all the delegates contributing to the session through their interventions, comments, input and participation in the development of documents, as well as through the sharing of experiences and lesson learnt.