WCO hosts first European API-PNR Day

06 十二月 2013

Press release

Requests by governments for Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) are growing in many regions, yet there is limited awareness of what airlines are allowed to transmit or capable of transmitting.

To raise awareness on the international standards and guidelines for the transmission of passenger data, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) along with the Association of European Airlines (AEA) organized the "European API-PNR Day" in Brussels on 4 December 2013 at WCO headquarters.

The event brought together approximately 120 participants representing airlines, European immigration and police authorities, the European Commission's Directorate-General Home Affairs, Frontex, the United Nations (UN) and Customs administrations.

In his opening remarks, the WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, underlined the importance of API and PNR and the need for a risk management approach to enforce cross-border controls and measures against illicit activities. Welcoming the launch of the API-PNR "Toolkit", which includes introductory presentations and videos, dynamic checklists and reference material to help design passenger data programs that are harmonized, efficient and valuable, Mr. Mikuriya also stressed the need to promote a collective approach between the WCO, IATA and ICAO towards standardization of data and procedures for airlines to provide passenger data to government agencies.

Luigi Soreca, Head of Unit for Police Cooperation from the Commission's Directorate-General Home Affairs, spoke about the challenges faced as a result of the growing requests by governments for passenger data. He pointed to the need to establish a reliable process that government and industry participants could follow for the implementation of passenger data exchange regimes, especially when non-EU countries were involved.

The WCO and IATA gave presentations which were followed by several round table discussions. The WCO’s presentation focused on the role of international organizations in managing the global standards for passenger data, especially the part played by the WCO API Contact Committee and the ICAO Facilitation Panel.

IATA’s presentation highlighted the growing requests from governments for passenger data and the impact of the application of non-standard requirements on the airline industry. The presentation covered batch API, interactive API and PNR, and the main principles of passenger data submission, data elements, message standards, data transmission, privacy and data protection. IATA also gave a demonstration of the API-PNR "Tookit" developed by IATA, with support from the WCO and ICAO.

The discussions covered concerns about privacy and data protection associated with the transmission of passenger data as well as the European Union’s approach to agreements concerning PNR and the outlook for the proposed EU PNR Directive. The discussions also touched on the benefits of passenger data and how it can be used to manage border risks and improve facilitation, as well as on the rules of access to passenger data held in airline systems by Customs administrations.

Participants concluded that the standards and guidelines developed by the WCO, IATA and ICAO can help governments in implementing API or PNR data reporting regimes and to meet the different challenges and requirements.