The value of passenger data exchange systems, in particular through Advance Passenger Information (API), was clearly recognized at the UN-level in Resolutions 2178 and 2309, which focus on preventing the movement of foreign terrorist fighters and aviation security respectively.
In the OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) in Hamburg, participating States committed to establishing national advance passenger information (API) systems in accordance with international standards, and tasked OSCE Executive Structures to support States in these efforts.
Since then, the OSCE has been a partner among a coalition of international organizations who have been raising-awareness and seeking to build capacity on API. In addition, the OSCE Transnational Threats Department (TNTD) has conducted national workshops to develop Roadmaps for implementation in both Serbia and Montenegro, and also distributed an Overview of the Use of API in the OSCE Area as a reference tool for participating States.
The primary goal of this seminar is to support participating States in implementing MC Decision 6/16 on Enhancing the Use of Advance Passenger Information. In that Decision, participating States committed to:
- Establish national API systems in accordance with the provisions contained in ICAO’s Annex 9 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention) and aligned with the WCO/IATA/ICAO Guidelines on API, including those on privacy and data protection, in order to effectively collect passenger and/or crew data from airlines operating in their territories;
- Consider establishing at the national level an interactive system to exchange API data (iAPI) in order to prevent the movement of foreign terrorist fighters in line with UN Security Council resolutions 2178 (2014) and 2309 (2016);
- Adhere to ICAO Document 9082 “ICAO’s Policies on Charges for Airports and Air Navigation Services” in the context of establishing an API system, recognizing that States are responsible for ensuring the implementation of adequate security measures at airports;
- Collaborate with all relevant national stakeholders in the implementation of national-level API systems and consider establishing one authority to receive, on behalf of all other authorities, all forms of passenger data through one single window data entry point;
- Increase the added value of API data by seeking to establish automated cross-checking of this data against relevant national, regional and international watch lists, in particular Interpol databases and UN Sanctions Lists;
- Provide assistance to support other requesting participating States in establishing an API system.
Therefore, this OSCE-wide Seminar will seek to address these commitments across four main topics:
- Why exchange passenger data, what is API, how does a passenger data exchange system actually work?
- National experiences in establishing passenger data exchange systems – lessons learned and good practices;
- Establishment of a comprehensive national legal framework for passenger data transfer and collaboration with airlines and other participating States;
- Overview of available systems and connectivity to watch-lists and databases.