BVI News

‘Advanced Passenger Information’ legislation being introduced

Legislation that makes it mandatory for aircraft and vessels coming or leaving the territory to provide information on its crew members and passengers prior to their arrival or departure is being introduced in the BVI.

The Bill, which is titled the Advanced Passenger Information Act, is reportedly being introduced to “facilitate advanced passenger screening and enhanced border security”.

According to the draft of the Bill which was published in government’s official gazette on Thursday, the legislation comes at the recommendation of Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The drafted document said the advanced passenger information obtained would be shared with other jurisdictions through CARICOM’s Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS).

IMPACS — an agency designed to be region’s nerve centre for providing a collective response to the crime and security priorities of member countries — would then run this information through a system that conducts screenings against ‘watch lists’.

Watch lists are used to track the current activity or movements of criminals such as terrorist or persons found guilty of an offence involving stolen or lost travel documents, criminal deportees, and other persons of interest.

Timeframe 

Under this new law, commercial and private aircraft must submit the information “no later than 40 minutes prior to departure from the last port of call”.

For vessels arriving outside of the region, the information must be submitted no later than 24 hours before arrival. The same one-hour window is allowed for vessels travelling within the region.

Fines, prison time

According to the gazetted document, there are relatively hefty penalties for persons who do not comply with the legislation when it becomes law.

It said a person who refuses to answer any question from local Immigration authorities or “knowingly gives a false answer to the question put to him/her, or fails to comply with any request … commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.” 

“A captain or master who fails to comply with or acts in contravention of this [legislation] commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both,” the document further stated.

Notably, if no authorization is given by the relevant authorities, no crew member or passenger would be allowed to disembark the aircraft or vessel except for reasons of health, safety or to preserve their life.

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26 Comments

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  1. Jack says:

    Surely this will kill the day charter boats coming in from the USVI?

    Like 22
    Dislike 4
    • BuzzBvi says:

      When has the VI ever been able to process anything in 40 minutes?

      Like 32
      Dislike 1
    • Just Wrong says:

      Seems to me like it will kill a lot more than that.

      Like 20
      Dislike 2
    • Bill says:

      Better than them kill us with disease.

      Like 10
      Dislike 4
    • Tourism says:

      The BVI has no more capacity to handle this in 40 minutes than 4 days. Another law that will look good but in reality will do no good. Who in the BVI is going to review a 3,000 person manifest of a cruise ship. This is stupid and Fahie isn’t b****t enough to understand. Just a waste of time. Or maybe not. Nothing else to do while in isolation with the buddies and their maids. Stay safe people

      Like 8
      Dislike 3
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Mindless bureaucracy that will achieve nothing except to delay and discourage tourists.

      As dumb as the cards you are made to fill in on arrival that then go into the cellar for ever.

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
  2. Sailboat says:

    So lets create a law without figuring out how to implement it. So lets encourage more people to come it without checking in. Are you going to create a web site to send in all this info and respond before the private sailboat/charterboats/planes/cruise ships leaves USVI(for example) to come here? All within 40 minutes?

    Like 18
    • Dont read to understand says:

      Based on your comments and more like these I see alot of you guys do not read to understand.

      The article specifically said they have to submit the information no later than 40mins BEFORE they leave the last port of call.

      So this means that if a USVI charter company has a charter that they know about days sometimes weeks in advance they have to submit the info of the persons thats going to be onboard the vessel. If they dont do it days before, they must do it the latest 40 mins before the leave the USVI to come to the BVI.

      So I cannot understand how you even made that comment and you didnt even understand what was being said

  3. annudda2cents says:

    what I think we need also is immigration clearance upon departure from the airports

    Like 2
    Dislike 8
  4. Snoppy says:

    What’s going to happen with the ferries to and from STT?

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  5. ?? says:

    Everyone talking nonsense, cruises, charters etc all have a manifest before arriving so scanning it over should not be an issue.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  6. lol says:

    Ah glad….especially for those deportees who get new identities to travel to the VI

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  7. Read: says:

    The same one-hour window is allowed for vessels travelling within the region.

    • Read...but think about reality says:

      If you are in a sailboat there is not a way to communicate with BVI ’40 minutes before departure’, or ’24 hours before arrival’. This is the same nonsense that happened after Irma. I came and went 20 times in the days after the storm ferrying supplies into the country. The government kept issuing more and more complicated check in procedures…so we just stopped checking in. There was no one to enforce the laws, so the same thing is going to happen again…only this time it will make people sick. THINK PEOPLE! If you can’t enforce this, don’t make the law.

  8. JB says:

    This is something that we all see coming for a long time,that’s the right move we are moving forward as we advance.for our safety and protection.

    Like 1
    Dislike 5
  9. SLK says:

    Great idea as per UK regulations but get your money out to employ the numbers needed to make it work

  10. Pete says:

    Ridiculous

  11. Vg man says:

    Good but how do we stop the fake doctors now we need some kind of health issue cards or secure testing places in certain areas that would serve just like
    The work permits and screening not to force them away but to
    ensure
    Safety

    , we must be ready for upgrades to screen on site ? Immg and labor must screen better

  12. so you know says:

    Nothing new here.. we all travel to the US at some point. The list of passengers are sent over as soon as flight etc closed. They run the names and passport numbers through many different databases for various checks.

    This is all part of the border management.

    people be calm…

  13. Lawyer says:

    That is what computers are made for. Most countries already have such a system in place. When you check out from one port the manifest is sent via computer/internet. It is received and checked against the ‘watch list’ BY THE COMPUTER!!

    • SLK says:

      That is very true the computers do the checking and generate enquiries from the checks.
      But then enquiries revealed during the computer check have to be farmed out to human beings who continue the work that inevitably grows into something more.
      The check is the easiest part of the whole process its the follow on enquiries that require staff.

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