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Turks and Caicos signs on to CARICOM Advance Passenger Information System

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Deputy premier and minister with responsibilities for the ministry of border control and employment, Sean Astwood, led a delegation from the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to Bridgetown, Barbados, for the signing of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) with the United States.

The signing took place between the US ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS, Linda Taglialetela, and the deputy premier on May 24, 2017, when the TCI became the first CARICOM associate member country amongst the six British overseas territories to sign on to the APIS programme.

APIS is an automated system established for aviation and maritime operators that has the capability of enhancing border security over the region by supplying law enforcement officers with data on passengers and crew members prior to arrival and departure from CARICOM member states, United Kingdom, United States and Canada. This system was established by the US Customs Border Protection (CBP) in May 2009.

The US ambassador explained that by “adopting APIS, will further allow countries to secure their airports and ports which leads them to enhancing their regional security”. She also went on to state that “persons must work within the sovereign states to identify issues and discuss implementable solution”.

Astwood said “The signing marked a historic occasion as the Turks and Caicos Islands embarked on a path of modernizing our border security regime through the cooperation agreement between the United States of America and the Caribbean counterparts.”

He explained, “Signing of the memorandum was a significant and important step in achieving full implementation in the APIS in the Turks and Caicos Islands and by extension improves security for our region.”

APIS should be fully operational by September 2017.

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