The WCO and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) jointly developed the WCO/IATA Guidelines on Advance Passenger Information (API) as a tool to help their Members implement this API system.
In order to cope with a dramatic rise in passenger traffic, Customs administrations implemented various measures to facilitate the movement of passengers while maintaining appropriate controls. Customs and other Border Control Agencies (Immigration, Police, Quarantine, Health and Safety, Agriculture, etc.) are therefore being faced with a greatly increased workload. In normal conditions shouldering this increased burden would not pose insurmountable problems. However, two additional factors have combined with the increase in passenger numbers to make the task of the Border Control Agencies very difficult indeed. These factors are the increased compliance risk posed by the growth in, for example, trans-national organized crime and a manpower shortfall within the Border Control Agencies themselves.
While the demands on the Border Control Agencies continue to grow and the manpower resources within which they must operate tighten, a number of very valuable opportunities have arisen, which, if taken advantage of, could allow these Agencies to maintain or even enhance their effectiveness.