OSCE continues supporting Armenia in establishing an Advance Passenger Information (API) system

A meeting on establishing an Advance Passenger Information (API) system for enhancing border and aviation security in Armenia took place in Yerevan on 11 and 12 February 2020. The event is a follow-up to the national workshop held in June 2019 that resulted in the drafting of a roadmap outlining the necessary steps Armenia needs to take to establish an API system.  

API is an electronic system through which biographic data from a traveler’s passport and flight details are collected by airlines and transmitted to the relevant authorities, such as border control agencies, before departure or arrival.

Some 20 representatives from Armenian agencies involved in passenger information processing, together with police and customs officials and members of the civil aviation authority attended the event.

The meeting was organized by the OSCE Transnational Threats Department (TNTD) and Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Armenia The meeting was organized by the OSCE Transnational Threats Department (TNTD) and Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Participants discussed the situation regarding API in the country, focusing on inter-agency co-operation, the current legal framework and possible IT solutions required to receive, store and analyze passenger data. The importance of creating one agency responsible for collecting and distributing passenger data, as well as maintaining continuous communication and collaboration, was emphasized as a best practice example used in countries that are already using API systems.

The collection and processing of API data by government structures has grown in importance since the adoption of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2178 (2014), which calls on the establishment of individual API systems. This obligation has been further reinforced with the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2396 (2017) and Amendment 26 to the Chicago Convention, making an API system mandatory.

This was the 19th event organized on API in the OSCE region since December 2016. TNTD plans to conduct additional workshops and meetings across the OSCE area during 2020.