The government has asked all airlines to share a list of passengers flying abroad at least 24 hours before departure of flights. The step has been taken with an aim to prevent economic and other offenders flee the country, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has asked all airlines to share PNR details of international passengers with it under its new Passenger Name Record Information Regulations, 2022. All airlines are required to send the same 24 hours before the departure time of each flight.
The CBIC has issued a notification, under which airlines will be required to share 19 points of data with authorities. The data will include passengers’ names, date of travel, available details, all billing information like credit card numbers, travel status of passengers, and information regarding baggage, seat, travel agent or agency, among others.
Each airline will be required to contact the customs department for the implementation. Also, they will have to transfer passenger name record information, 24 hours before the departure time or at the time of departure. In case of failure, the airline will be asked to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 -Rs 50,000, for every noncompliance act.
While speaking to India Express regarding the initiative, a senior CBIC official informed that the objective behind the initiative is to collect information on passengers in advance for better risk profiling. The immigration data of passengers are available only after the arrival or departure of flights. As per airline officials, the move will help in standardised process of data sharing of passengers with the customs department, even as the non-standard requests to sra data related to passengers may lead to infringement of privacy.
With this latest initiative, India is part of the list of 60 countries, which have regulations related to the sharing of advanced passenger information with customs and border control authorities. Recently, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), wrote a letter to the Ministry of Civil Aviation on non-standard requests that were raised by law enforcers and probe agencies for passenger details. Experts feel that the step will help in providing a consolidated database on a government website for risk analysis of air passengers and help in taking actions against economic offenders.