Broward County's Port Everglades and its cruise line partners are working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to launch two pilot programs this summer -- Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks and Mobile Passport Control (MPC) - that are designed to expedite secure entry into the United States following a cruise, according to a statement.
Port Everglades is the first U.S. cruise port to test these programs.
Both programs are designed to streamline the traveler inspection process and enable CBP officers to focus more on the inspection and less on administrative functions.
"We are working closely with CBP to improve guest service and make the debark process more efficient without compromising safety and security," said Port Everglades Deputy Port Director Glenn Wiltshire. "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 prior to speaking to a CBP officer.
The MPC program is the first Smartphone app authorized to expedite a traveler's entry process into the United States. This first-of-its-kind app was developed by Airside Mobile and Airports Council International-North America in partnerships with CBP. The app allows U.S. 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," said CBP Port Director Jorge Roig.
CBP's Global Entry program, which gives preferential processing to those guests who are Global Entry card holders, has been available at Port Everglades since summer 2015.