ACI-NA Comments on DHS Burdensome Regs

ACI-NA submitted comments in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s Notice on Reducing Regulatory Burden and Retrospective Review.  The Notice stems from President Obama’s January request for suggestions on what regulations should be modified or repealed. The full ACI-NA comments can be found at http://www.aci-na.org/static/entransit/ACI-NA%20Comments%20on%20DHS%20Regulatory%20Review.pdf

ACI-NA urged DHS to:

  • incorporate risk management as a core business practice
  • establish a transparent regulatory review process with a reasonable schedule
  • publish the complete list of rules that it will review along with the review schedule
  • not only include rules promulgated through a formal rulemaking process, but also other documents which impose significant additional requirements and standards.

ACI-NA comments focused on issues related to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and US-VISIT Exit. 

ACI-NA recommended that DHS include the following requirements in its regulatory review for CBP:

  • Global Entry Program: CBP should establish Global Entry as a permanent program so that the successful program can be expanded to additional airports.
  • National Security Entry and Exit Registration System (NSEERS): CBP should eliminate the redundant NSEERS process required of citizens of specified countries.
  • I-94 and General Customs Declarations Forms:CBP should eliminate these forms which will decrease the inspection time for passengers.
  • Suspension of Transit Program:  CBP should examine using the passenger data it collects to revive a secure air transit program so passengers can easily transit US airports.
  • Airport Technical Design Standards (ATDS): CBP should be flexible in its application of the ATDS which airports find to be onerous, excessive, and inflexible.
  • CBP/User Fee Airport Memorandum: CBP should consult with ACI-NA and user fee airports about a new memorandum; take a more flexible approach; and consider the characteristics of individual airports.

ACI-NA also commented on the regulatory burdens imposed by TSA.  The most salient for the Facilitation Committee is:

  • Rescreening of Canadian baggage: TSA should review the process of rescreening connecting baggage from Canada at U.S. gateway airports. Eliminating the redundant process would free up limited TSA resources, reduce the operational burden on airports, decrease flight delays and minimize misconnecting checked baggage.

US-VISIT Exit

 In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), issued April 24, 2008, DHS proposed to require airlines to collect the biometrics of most foreign visitors as they depart the United States at locations of the airline’s choosing at U.S. airports, and pay all associated costs.

ACI-NA commented that if DHS moves forward to implement biometric US-VISIT Exit, the following principles should apply:  implementation of US-VISIT Exit is a DHS responsibility and must be federally funded; fingerprints should be collected at the passenger’s last airport of departure in the sterile area of the airport; mobile kiosks or other mobile devices, rather than hard-wired infrastructure, should be used to collect fingerprints; and the deployment of those devices should be based on consultations with airport proprietors and airlines.