Warning of Stiff Fines for APIS Inaccuracies
Crews should triple check Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) data to avoid US CBP penalties.
Maritime services provider Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) is advising all crew, vessel owners, masters and operators to triple check passenger data before submitting Electronic Advanced Notice of Arrival (E-NOA) and Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) reports to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to avoid financial penalties.
While errors such as misspelled names and transposed dates on the crew list portion of the E-NOA were often corrected in practice without penalties if highlighted by APIS to the submitter, the strict enforcement of any mistakes identified at all will result in a US$ 5,000 fine for the first offence, going up to US$ 10,000 for additional violations.
The CBP office in Washington, D.C has advised: “This is not a new APIS policy. According to the CBP National APIS Manager, mitigating factors are taken into consideration, but 100 per cent accuracy has always been required. Failure to comply has always been subject to $5,000 penalty ($10,000 for subsequent), and transmitting inaccurate data is serious and to repeatedly do so is unacceptable."
Says Temple Martin, Manager, E-NOA Service Centre: “We are advising customers that ISS will exercise reasonable skill and care to file the E-NOA data correctly and within the prescribed filing deadlines but it cannot accept any responsibility or liability for the correctness and accuracy of the information provided by the vessel owner/master/crew/operator, or if data is not received in a timely manner from the vessel owner/master/crew/operator, resulting from technical problems or human error beyond its control. We provide the E-NOA/D filing process as a data exchange service only."