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WCO discusses Passenger Facilitation and Control Working Group priorities with the cruise ship industry

25 agosto 2021

Following discussions at the Passenger Facilitation and Control Working Group (PFCWG) Global Cruise Ship Workshop in July, the WCO Secretariat, along with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT), hosted a meeting with representatives from the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) to share recent developments and to discuss the priority tasks of the PFCWG.  The objective of the meeting was to gain initial feedback from industry on the possible data elements that would compose a global data standard for maritime passengers.

The meeting started with an explanation by Mr. David Dodson from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) and co-moderator of the Global Workshop, of what API/PNR is and how it is used by government authorities for border security, as well as how the United States receives and uses API/PNR data. The WCO Secretariat then provided a brief explanation of the outcomes of the Global Workshop, recent developments and next steps for further discussion.

The representative from the UNOCT gave a presentation on the current status of their Countering Terrorist Travel (CT Travel) Programme and the study towards the establishment of a new international framework in the maritime sector, as well as the Carrier Engagement Checklist to provide a better understanding of current practices and procedures used by cruise lines.

The meeting then focused on the possible data elements of global data standard for maritime passengers, which was developed through the Global Workshop and the ensuing CLiKC! Discussion. The WCO Secretariat outlined the draft dataset, explaining the development process taken with WCO Members. Next steps, including assistance from industry, required to enhance the dataset to ensure its accuracy and that its elements can be provided by operators were also discussed.

Throughout the meeting, the WCO emphasized that the focus of this initiative is on facilitation and how that can be best achieved, particularly in the current pandemic environment. The WCO and its Members believe this initiative could be a win-win situation for all stakeholders by improving and facilitating maritime passenger processing through advance risk assessment based on advance information while mitigating security and other threats. The WCO also highlighted the importance of cruise lines being involved in the work to a global data standard for maritime passengers and crew and requested CLIA to encourage its members to join the discussion.

CLIA appreciated each presentation and acknowledged the current situation and importance of using global standards wherever possible. They responded that it is important to for cruise lines to understand the rationale behind the inclusion of particular data elements in the global standard. In addition, although they expressed that they could not judge the adequacy of data elements at the meeting as they need to consult with their members, there was a commitment from both the WCO and CLIA to continue collaboration on the dataset and on issues such as data transmission protocols.  The WCO also noted the importance of gaining a deeper understanding of what traveler data operators collect and how they manage that data in order to be able to further refine the possible global data standard and to minimize its impact on industry.