Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:04 pm Post subject: New Document Requirements Air And Sea Travel W Hemisphere
From Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:00 am to Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:59 am (included)
|Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Proposed Rule Outlines New Document Requirements For Air And Sea Travel
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: (202) 282-8010
August 11, 2006
Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Department of State (State) announced the proposed requirement, with some exceptions, for citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and British Overseas Territory of Bermuda to present a passport to enter the United States when arriving by air or sea from any part of the Western Hemisphere beginning January 8, 2007.
A second proposed rule will be published at a later date proposing certain requirements for those travelers entering the United States through a land border crossing beginning January 1, 2008. The land border rule will also address document requirements for ferry passengers, U.S. citizen members of the armed forces on active duty, and for vessels used exclusively for pleasure and not for the transportation of persons or property for compensation or hire.
Together, these two proposed rules set forth the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). WHTI is the government’s plan to implement a provision of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act signed into law in 2004 which requires that by January 1, 2008 all citizens of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda, have a passport or other accepted document that establishes the bearer’s identity and nationality to enter or re enter the United States from within the Western Hemisphere.
DHS and the Department of State are providing the public with an opportunity to comment on the proposed rules and enable them to meet the proposed requirements. The proposed timeline and requirements would be as follows:
January 8, 2007 – Passports, Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) or NEXUS Air cards would be required for all air travel, and most commercial sea travel, from within the Western Hemisphere for citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda. This is a change from the previously scheduled date of January 1, in order to accommodate holiday travel.
January 1, 2008 – The statutory deadline for all Western Hemisphere travel, including land border travel. Passports or other accepted documents determined to sufficiently denote identity and citizenship will be required for anyone crossing at a land border, as well as air and sea.
In addition to the passport, two other proposed travel documents that sufficiently denote identity and citizenship for the air and sea environment include the Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) and the NEXUS Air card. The MMD or “z card” is issued by the U.S. Coast Guard to merchant mariners and the NEXUS Air card is issued to citizens of Canada and the United States, lawful permanent residents of the United States and permanent residents of Canada. The NEXUS Air card may only be accepted when used in conjunction with the NEXUS Air program. The MMD card may only be accepted when used on official maritime business.
To provide vital information to the general public, the Departments of Homeland Security and State are issuing this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). This follows an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) published in the Federal Register on September 1, 2005. Public comments from the ANPRM are discussed in this NPRM. The Department of Homeland Security is issuing an economic assessment of the proposed rule for air and sea. The public may provide input and/or comment on both the proposed rule and the economic assessment on or before September 24, 2006.
Those wishing to comment on the proposed rule may access the Federal e Rulemaking Portal at http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20061800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/06-6854.htm and follow the instructions for submitting comments. Submissions must include the agency name and docket number CBP 2006-0097.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov or www.travel.state.gov.
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative - The Basics (PDF, 2 pages - 132 KB)