will now be required to share passenger reservation data with customs department in advance.
The government has proposed an amendment to the Customs Act
for improved surveillance and risk assessment of travellers leaving and entering the country. The changes in the rules will bring India in line with countries like Australia, Canada, United States and the European Union which have similar norms in place.
will now be required to share PNR
(passenger name record) data of passengers with customs before departure and arrival of overseas flights. This includes details like passenger name, travel itinerary, travel agent information, frequent flyer status, travel status (confirmation or check-in status) amongst others. Essentially it gives details of when and how the tickets were booked.
In case an airline company fails to furnish the information to the customs, it could result in a fine of up to Rs 50,000, according to the Finance Bill tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
At present, many airlines
in India are required to share the passenger information, in advance with immigration authorities prior to departure or arrival, but this is limited to details like passenger name, nationality, passport number etc. Other countries also require airlines
to share similar information known as advance passenger information (API).
The International Air Transport Association said it expects the Indian government to adhere to established global standards for submission of PNRGOV data. “We would also urge that stakeholder consultations precede the development of any regulations detailing from the form and data elements for this information,” IATA
spokesperson Albert Tjoeng said in a statement.
In Europe, privacy rights groups had questioned the move to ask for PNR
details fearing that travellers would be subject to profiling and had questioned the effectiveness of data to counter terrorism and crime.
Last year, European Union Parliament, however, passed a law allowing for the collection of PNR
data from airlines.
The law was passed in the backdrop of heightened security concerns following terror attacks in Brussels and Paris.