Insurance and P&I service provider Skuld has issued an update about passenger carriage in the US by ship.
The US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently merged the advanced passenger information system (APIS) data reporting system into the US Coast Guard’s Notice of Arrival (NOA) transmission process.
The new system is called the Electronic Notice of Arrival and Departure (eNOA/D). From now, APIS information must be submitted exclusively via the eNOA/D system.
As part of the US programme for ensuring vessel and aviation safety and protecting national security, on 7th April, 2005, the CBP gave details of the requirements for the electronic submission of manifest information for passengers and crew members on board commercial vessels and aircraft in advance of arrival in and departure from the US, known as APIS.
The eNOA/D regulations were amended in 2015 to include more commercial vessels and to set forth a mandatory method for electronic submission of NOAs and modify reporting content, time frames and procedures.
The rule now includes all foreign vessels and US vessels in commercial service that are bound for or departing from ports or places within US navigable waters, including internal waters and the territorial sea and any deepwater port.
However, there are a number of exemptions and exceptions. Except for reporting notice of hazardous conditions, the following vessels are exempt from the eNOA/D requirements;
*A public vessel.
*A US vessel operating solely between US ports or places on the Great Lakes.
*A US vessel 300 gt or less, engaged in commercial service not coming from a foreign port or place.
*Ferries on a fixed route described in an accurate schedule, along with certain other information.
The owner, agent, Master, operator or person in charge of a vessel must submit notices of arrival consistent with the requirements of the regulations, including vessel, voyage, cargo, crew and passenger information, information regarding operational condition of equipment, ISM and ISPS Code compliance.
Times for submitting NOAs are as follows:
⦁ Voyages 96 hours or more – at least 96 hours before arriving at the port or place of destination.
⦁ Voyages less than 96 hours – before departure but at least 24 hours before arriving at the port or place of destination.
⦁ US vessels 300 gt or less arriving from a foreign port or place and whose voyage time is less than 24 hours must submit an NOA at least 60 minutes before departure.
The revised rule requires NOA information to be submitted through the National Vessel Movement Centre (NVMC) electronic Notice of Arrival and Departure website, and also provides time frames for submitting updates whenever the submitted NOA information becomes inaccurate.
CBP has a strict enforcement process to insure that APIS submittals are both timely and accurate.
In addition, the CBP requires all international carriers transporting passengers and crew to obtain an International Carrier Bond (ICB), which must be placed on file with CBP prior to entry or departure from the US. CBP considers the ‘carrier’ to be the entity responsible for providing the crew. In most cases this will be the owner or bareboat charterer of the vessel.
If the carrier already has a valid ICB for purposes of compliance with the Automated Manifest System (AMS) requirements, this will generally satisfy the APIS requirements as well. However, the minimum amount of the bond is set by the local CBP area port director (generally $50,000).
Skuld advised that club members who already have a valid AMS bond should contact the CBP port director in US ports where their vessels are expected to call to verify the required amount of the bond.