According to ICAO, the implementation of passenger data exchange standards is crucial
Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu highlighted the importance of accelerating the global implementation of the new standards for advanced passenger information (API) and the registration of passenger names (PNR)
At the ICAO / Interpol Passenger Data Exchange Forum, held virtually May 27-28 in conjunction with this year's ICAO TRIP Symposium, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu highlighted the importance vital to accelerating the global implementation of the new ICAO Advanced Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) standards given their critical importance to the crime prevention and counter-terrorism efforts of the ICAO system. The United Nations.
The Forum provided attending States with information on how the effective implementation of passenger data exchange systems and data analysis can improve border control tools to address terrorism and serious crime, and provided information on the types of related support available to them.
The event also covered ICAO and Interpol cooperation through the United Nations Program Against Terrorist Travel, along with other UN partners. This program enhances the State's capabilities to prevent, detect and investigate crime through API and PNR data processing. It helps 40 states around the world and has been generously funded by the Netherlands, the European Union, the United States, Qatar, Australia, Japan and India.
“ICAO has certainly not underestimated the challenges States face in implementing passenger data exchange programs, and we hope this event has helped governments appreciate the broad support available to them, whether from ICAO itself, our UN partners, other international organizations, and the many states that have already gone down this path, ”said Liu.
"Nor should we be under any illusions that the impacts of COVID-19 are preventing members of terrorist groups and transnational organized crime groups from attempting to travel around the world to carry out criminal acts."
“A shared key piece of information, a simple front-line check, can mean that a potential threat to air travel is identified,” commented INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock. "We need to close the loopholes that are being exploited by criminals and terrorists to undermine our societies and this forum is an important step to achieve that."
The new and revised API / PNR guidance became applicable under Annex 9 - Facilitation of the Chicago Convention on February 28, 2021. The Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) establish a global framework for the collection, use, processing and PNR data protection.
"With these new SARPs, Annex 9 now imposes a clearly defined obligation on States to be able to collect and process API / PNR data," Liu clarified. "This is an important step in the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2396."
The ICAO / Interpol Forum provided a unique opportunity to accelerate momentum on this point, with the World Customs Organization and the United States Customs and Border Protection demonstrating the various types of technical support and capacity building they provide to the States in the early stages of developing these capabilities.
Interpol, Frontex and the French Ministry of the Interior also provided important contributions, offering interesting information on how to process API and PNR data for various law enforcement purposes.