This workshop is organized by the TNTD/Border Security and Management Unit within the API/PNR project as the first step in order to provide support to Armenian authorities to establish an API system.
In recent years, the collection and use of Advance Passenger Information (API) data by government authorities for the purposes of exit, entry and transit control of air passengers has become increasingly important for national security. The reason is that API systems can be an effective tool in interdicting the travel of potential foreign terrorist fighters, other potential terrorists and individuals potentially engaged in transnational organized crime, and enhance border and aviation security generally, especially when used in conjunction with multilateral law enforcement databases, such as that of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
Despite all these international efforts to foster the establishment of national API systems, there is a low incidence of API use around the world. API systems are complex and therefore require a high degree of technical capacity and skills. They are also expensive to purchase, maintain and operate. Moreover, to implement API effectively, several legal and institutional changes might be required.
The workshop would be an opportunity for all local actors involved in passenger processing in Armenia to learn what an API system is, how it works in practice, and how it can contribute to enhance border security. International experts and national participants will then work together to draft a Roadmap outlining the main steps that Armenia needs to follow to set up its own API system.
The workshop in Armenia will be based on the Pilot Workshop developed in Serbia from 29 November to 1 December 2016 and taking into account outcomes, lessons learned, and recommendations from that workshop. The ultimate purpose is the drafting of a series of Road Maps that will eventually lead to the establishment of API systems in alignment with the provisions contained in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Annex 9 to the Chicago Convention and the World Customs Organization (WCO)/International Air Transport Association (IATA)/ICAO Guidelines on API. In turn, this will contribute to detecting and preventing the movement of foreign terrorist fighters through effective border controls in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2178, OSCE Ministerial Council Declaration 5/14, and OSCE Ministerial Council Decision 6/16 on Enhancing the Use of API.