There are multiple changes to the US Border Overflight Exemption process effective 2017. Unusually, there is no official notification of the changes from either CBP or DHS, and so you may find that even the Customs Officer on arrival does not know about them.
The March 2017 changes may be the start of the end for the Border Overflight Exemption, since most requirements from the CBP perspective are transferred to eAPIS: notably, the fact that individual aircraft are no longer listed on the Approval Letter.
We were first alerted to the changes by an OpsGroup member, and have spoken with a lot of different DHS and CBP officials. From these conversations, we’ve put together our summary of the situation below.
Noteworthy is that at many Airports, the front line CBP officers were not aware of the new rules. CBP have said: “This is new not only to you but to most of the Officers in the field. Your pilots need to know what it says because they will be getting questions when they land.”
What is a Border Overflight Exemption?
- If you operate a flight to the US from south of the 30th parallel, you must land at the first airport you come to.
- To avoid this, you can apply to CBP for a Border Overflight Exemption (BOE)
- With that in hand, you can fly to any airport with customs.
- So, on to the changes:
Effective March 1st, 2017 :
- A full list of the changes to the process is in Notes to Members #23 in your OPSGROUP dashboard.
- We recommend you carry this in the aircraft as well, for any CBP official not aware of the new rules.
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More on the topic:
- More: US Border Overflight Exemptions: A How-to Guide
- More: Process simplified for US Border Overflight Exemptions
- More: USA – the Lowdown on Flight Ops