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Port Everglades pilots expedited clearance programs using kiosks, smartphone app

Passport control kiosks, along with a smartphone app, are being tested to clear cruise passengers (Photo: Port Everglades)
Port Everglades, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International are working with US Customs and Border Protection to launch two pilot programs aimed at speeding security clearance. They are Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks and Mobile Passport Control (MPC).

Port Everglades is the first US cruise port to test these programs, which currently are available in many US airports and for cruise passenger preclearance in Vancouver, BC.

'We are working closely with CBP to improve guest service and make the debark process more efficient without compromising safety and security,' Port Everglades deputy port director Glenn Wiltshire said. 'We have high hopes for both programs, and are evaluating the efficiency, staff time and costs involved during this three-month pilot program.'

APC kiosks allow passengers to provide their travel documents and customs declaration forms before speaking to a CBP officer.

The MPC program is the first smartphone app authorized to expedite a traveler's entry process into the US. It was developed by Airside Mobile and Airports Council International-North America in partnerships with CBP. The app allows US citizens debarking a cruise ship to complete their customs declaration using their phones, expediting their clearance process in the terminal.

'We are very fortunate to be able to partner with Port Everglades in innovative projects that will enhance the arriving passengers' experience. These important business transformation initiatives are part of CBP's greater resource optimization strategy and will help to support the increased passenger traffic growth that we continue to see in South Florida,' CBP port director Jorge Roig said.

In addition, CBP's Global Entry program, which gives preferential processing to those passengers who are Global Entry cardholders, has been available at Port Everglades since last summer.