President Bush has signed the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002. The measure provides for the hiring of additional Immigration and Naturalization Service
(INS) inspectors and investigative personnel. Of particular import to the maritime industry, it directs the Attorney General to develop machine-readable, tamper-resistant visas and other travel and entry documents that use biometric identifiers.
Vessels entering or departing the United States must
provide to the INS arrival and departure manifests containing information regarding each passenger, crew member, and other occupant on board. The requirement to provide the manifests is effective immediately. The manifests are to be provided in electronic format beginning not later than January 1, 2003. For each person, the manifest shall include: complete name; date of birth; citizenship; sex; passport number and country of issuance; country of residence; U.S. visa number, date, and place of issuance, where applicable; alien registration number, where applicable; U.S. address while in the United States; and such other information as the Attorney General deems appropriate. The Attorney General has not, to date, issued any requirements for additional information to be included on these manifests. Vessels that refuse or fail to provide these manifests or that provide manifests known to not be accurate and full are subject to civil penalties and will not be granted clearance.
Source: HK Law