The Indian government has instructed airlines/aircraft operators to share the details and information of international passengers, including contact and payment information, with customs authorities 24 hours prior to the departure of flights.
The decision to collect information about international travellers to/from India comes in a bid to stop law offenders from escaping the nation.
The “Passenger Name Record Information Regulations, 2022” were announced by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), a division of the finance ministry, on August 8.
These regulations aim to “Risk Analysis” of passengers in order to stop economic and other criminals from leaving the country and to monitor any illegal trade, such as smuggling.
Passenger Name Record Information
Information from the passenger name record will contain international travel details like;
- PNR record locator code.
- Date of reservation/issue of the ticket.
- Date(s) of intended travel.
- Available frequent flyer and benefits information (i.e., free tickets, upgrades, etc.).
- Other names on PNR, including a number of travellers.
- All available contact (email, telephone number. mobile number information – including the originator of reservation) All available payment/billing information (e.g. credit card number).
- Travel itinerary for specific PNR.
- Travel agency/travel agent.
- Code share information (e.g., when one air carrier sells seats on another air carrier’s flight).
- Split/divided information (e.g., when one PNR contains a reference to another PNR).
- Travel status of passenger (including confirmations and check-in status).
- Ticketing information, including ticket number. one-way tickets and Automated Ticket Fare Quote (ATFQ) fields.
- Baggage information.
- Seat information, including seat number.
- General remarks include Other Service Indicated (OSI), Special Service Indicated (SSI) and Supplemental Service Request (SSR) information.
- Any collected APIS information (e.g., Advance Passenger Information (API) that is initially captured by an air carrier within its PNR, such as passport number, date of birth and gender).
- All historical changes to the PNR are listed above.
“NCTC-P to receive and process passenger name record information along with any other information relevant for risk analysis of passengers for the purpose of – (a) prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of offences under the Act and the rules and regulations made there under, or (b) law enforcement agencies or government departments of India or any other country may specify for the purposes of regulation 10,” the notification added.
The notification said this information received “shall be subject to the strict information privacy and protection in accordance with the provisions of any law for the time being in force.”
“Processing of passenger name record information revealing a person’s race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health, sexual life or sexual orientation, shall not be permitted,” it said.
To prevent any exploitation of the information included in the passenger name record, the new rule calls for an intensive independent system audit and security audit to be conducted annually.
Aircraft operators/Airlines who fail to provide this information may be fined at least ₹25,000.