Turks and Caicos moves to enhance border security

The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) recently signed on to a CARICOM Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) with the United States.

The signing took place between the TCI deputy premier and minister with responsibilities for border control, Sean Astwood, and United States Ambassador to Barbados, The Eastern Caribbean and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Linda Taglialetela.

Astwood led a delegation to Bridgetown for the signing of the agreement recently. The TCI became the first CARICOM associate member country amongst the six British overseas territories to sign on to the APIS program.

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 United States Customs Border Protection (CBP) in May 2009.

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 counterpart.”

APIS should be operational by September 2017.

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