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Turks and Caicos: New automated border security system activated
Start Date/Time:
Monday, August 5, 2019
Recurring Event:
One time event
Normal Priority


August 05, 2019


LAW enforcement officials in the TCI are now equipped with the technology to know in advance whether potential or known offenders are travelling to the territory.


The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment officially activated the long-awaited Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) on June 1.


Minister Hon. Vaden Delroy Williams, in statement on June 28 said APIS will help to improve and enhance border security in the Turks and Caicos Islands.


APIS is an automated system established for aviation and maritime operators which has the capability of boost border security throughout the region.


It supplies law enforcement officers with data on passengers and crew members prior to arrival and departure from Caricom member states, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.


APIS has been hailed regionally as a significant system in border protection and modernising border security through cooperation agreements between the US and Caribbean counterparts.


On May 24, 2017, the territory signed a MOU between the United States of America (USA) and the Turks and Caicos Islands.


However, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government was awaiting the consent of the United Kingdom before activating the system.


On November 19, 2018, Governor John Freeman and former minister of immigration Hon. Sean Astwood ratified the MOU.


According to Williams, APIS will allow the TCI to benefit in several aspects including: "Details of arriving/departing passengers are received prior to the arrival of the flight.


"Prior to departure, law enforcement officials know in advance whether potential or known offenders or inadmissible persons are travelling.


"Adequate time to utilise resources more efficiently, thereby reducing workload through the use of technology and automated means.


"Improved efficiency at immigration counters, hence improving the important tourism experience at our air and seaports.”


Minister Williams stressed that the introduction of APIS presents the TCI with capabilities for transmission of passenger details to the point of destination well in advance of the passengers’ arrival. 


He said: "This is a very positive step towards achieving both facilitation and compliance goals.


"The TCI will use APIS as a decision-making tool that immigration and customs primarily can employ before a passenger is permitted to board an aircraft.


"The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, labour and Employment Service would like to thank all stakeholders for their support in making this important project a reality. 


"Special thanks to our regional partner, Joint Regional Communication Centre, team at the Computer Information Technology Unit and special recognition to Senior Immigration Latoya Mitchell, project leader.”


APIS was established by the US Customs Border Protection (CBP) in May 2009 and was expected to be fully operational in the TCI by September 2017. (By Olivia Rose)


Owned by Kervon Patrick On Tuesday, August 6, 2019



The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) worked closely with CARICOM IMPACS in the prevention as well as preparing for tracking of patients or potential patients in the regional response for the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). It was during this interaction that the security component was recognized. IMPACS was also designated by Heads of Government as a member of the Regional Ebola Prevention Team which is chaired by CARPHA. It should be noted that at the national levels, IMPACS sits on the Ebola Committees both in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

CARPHA is also part of the grouping which stands to benefit from the Crisis Room Programme funded by the European Union of which CDEMA and RSS are a part and which IMPACS coordinated.

In January 2017, CARICOM IMPACS and CARPHA signed a memorandum of understanding.


The working relationship with the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) was also evidenced through the EEAS facilitated collaboration on the establishment of a CARICOM mechanism for coordinated responses to political crisis, health crisis, disaster and all other crises in the Region.

In January 2011, CARICOM IMPACS and CDEMA completed a memorandum of understanding.

Following a long-awaited meeting, Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) and CARICOM IMPACS now have better insight into each other’s mandate, challenges, work plans and proposed collaboration for the future. As a result of the meeting, in-depth discussions take place with respect to intelligence training for CCLEC representatives; sharing of information; access to CCLEC databases; access and enhancement of information collection as it pertains to yachts.

CCLEC is represented on the Advance Cargo Information System (ACIS) Oversight and Implementation Committee (OIC) to provide its input for the smooth and seamless implementation of system.

In May 2013, CARICOM IMPACS and CCLEC signed a memorandum of understanding.

In 2014 functional cooperation between Regional Security System (RSS) and IMPACS was evidenced through the collaboration of these two agencies on the establishment of a CARICOM mechanism for coordinated responses to disaster and crises in the Region. This was being facilitated through support from the European External Action Service (EEAS).

RSS participates in the Standing Committee Meetings of the Commissioners of Police and Military Chiefs as well as the Comptrollers of Customs and Immigration Chiefs meetings providing insight from a sub-regional perspective.

In December 2012, IMPACS and the RSS formalized its relationship with the signing of a memorandum of understanding