Developments pertaining to Annex 9 — Facilitation
The Ninth Meeting of the Facilitation Panel (FALP/9), was held in Montréal from 4 to 7 April. The agenda of the meeting included topics such as recent facilitation developments in ICAO, the United Nations, and other international organizations; proposals for amendments to Annex 9 (including new and revised Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) on unaccompanied minors, Advance Passenger Information (API), Automated Border Controls and Electronic Travel Systems); and matters relating to the implementation of Annex 9 provisions.
Furthermore, in order to determine the extent of the level of Annex 9 compliance, the analysis of the State letter EC 6/3-15/90 dated 21 December 2015 is ongoing. This letter was disseminated to remind Member States of the online Compliance Checklist (CC) in ICAO’s Electronic Filing of Differences (EFOD) System which allows for the recording of information on compliance with the Standards of Annex 9. The EFOD system was developed to address the need for a more efficient means of reporting and researching differences to SARPs. The Secretariat will assess the responses and report to the Council in order to enable Council to consider the extent of the level of Annex 9 compliance and to determine if further action should be taken in this regard.
ICAO Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) Strategy
The ICAO TRIP Strategy provides the framework for achieving significant enhancements in aviation security and facilitation by bringing together the elements of identification management and building on ICAO leadership in matters related to Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs). The ICAO TRIP Strategy focuses on five key elements of traveller identification: evidence of identification; document issuance and control; MRTDs; inspection systems and tools; and interoperable applications.
The First Meeting of the Technical Advisory Group on the Traveller Identification Programme (TAG/TRIP/1, formerly known as TAG/MRTD) was held in Montréal from 30 March to 1 April. The meeting considered a range of Secretariat initiatives to promote and implement the TRIP Strategy, including the results of the ICAO questionnaire on TRIP Strategy Implementation and Assistance for States. A wide range of technical issues were also discussed, including the development of specifications and guidance relating to MRTDs, and the provision of compliance assistance to Member States. New Terms of Reference for TAG/TRIP were approved and circulated to Member States and international organizations who were also invited to nominate experts to serve on the TAG/TRIP in future. To advance its work, TAG/TRIP/1 approved future work programmes of its two sub-groups: the New Technologies Working Group (NTWG) and the Implementation and Capacity-Building Working Group (ICBWG). Subsequently, the ICBWG met in The Hague (3-4 May) and the NTWG met in Seattle (7-9 June) and in Montréal (17-18 November) to advance work on the implementation of the TRIP Strategy.
Also during 2016, a number of new or updated TRIP-related guidance materials were posted on the ICAO public website. These included a Collection of Best Practices for Acquisition of Machine Readable Travel Document Goods and Services (March), Guidance for Circulating Specimen Travel Documents (March), Best Practice Guidelines for Optical Machine Authentication (April), a Roadmap for Implementation of New Specifications for MRTDs (April), a new Guide for Experts in Assessing Security of Handling and Issuance of Travel Documents (May), and Guidance on Emergency Travel Documents (May). These guides were developed with the support of the technical experts of the TAG/TRIP working groups.
ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD)
With a view to encouraging participation in the ICAO PKD, Amendment 25 to Annex 9 presented a revision to the PKD Recommended Practice (RP) 3.9.1. The RP is now divided into two Recommended Practices, RP 3.9.1 and RP 3.9.2, aimed at document-issuing authorities and at border control authorities. ICAO continued to promote PKD membership through a series of events, urging States to join given the importance of enhancing cross-border security and air transport facilitation. Nine new participants – Benin, Botswana, Finland, Georgia, Iceland, Kuwait, Oman, Romania and Turkey – joined the ICAO PKD during the course of the year, bringing the total number to 55 participants. The ICAO PKD website has been revamped in order to be more user-friendly and appealing to prospective participants.
In April, the PKD started operation with the new PKD Provider, Bundesdruckerei GmbH. State letter EC 6/8.3 – 16/70, ICAO Public Key Directory was issued on 25 July 2016 to inform ICAO Member States of the new lower PKD fees; the change of service provider; to urge Member States to join the PKD; and to reply to an ICAO questionnaire on the use of the PKD at border control. Targeted individual meetings with ICAO Member States for PKD promotion were also conducted during the 39th Session of the Assembly and the 2016 ICAO TRIP Symposium.
Outreach and awareness activities
The 12th Symposium and Exhibition on the Traveller Identification Programme, with the key theme of “Strengthening Aviation Security through Improved Traveller Identification,” was convened at ICAO Headquarters in November. This annual gathering provides an opportunity for representatives from the public and private sectors to coordinate their efforts to advance the five elements of the ICAO TRIP Strategy and brings together the travel document, border security and aviation communities to exchange information on related security and facilitation challenges that Member States face, along with respective solutions, and to present an opportunity to emphasize the ICAO PKD benefits. It was attended by over 500 participants from 81 States, 15 international organizations and 50 industry partners. Discussions covered ways in which the TRIP Strategy can help combat travel document fraud, the importance of evidence of identity to border control management, technology innovations to support the TRIP Strategy, assistance and capacity-building success stories, inspection systems and tools, and interoperable applications.
An ICAO TRIP regional seminar was conducted at Kish Island, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 9 to 11 May. The seminar was hosted by the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran and served to highlight the relevance of the ICAO TRIP Strategy to reinforce national and international security and combat trans-border crime and terrorism, by preventing the movement of terrorists, implementing effective border controls and controls on issuance of identity and travel documents. This event also promoted best practices for issuing ICAO-compliant MRTDs, and managing secure passport issuance and border control systems, while emphasizing the importance of the implementation of the five elements of the ICAO TRIP Strategy and participating in the ICAO PKD.
ICAO TRIP continued to promote news and features on travel document and identification management issues as reported in the ICAO TRIP magazine (formerly the ICAO MRTD Report) – Volume 11, issues 1 and 2. The objective of the ICAO TRIP magazine is to provide a comprehensive account of new developments, trends, innovations and applications in the field of MRTDs and traveller identification to ICAO Member States and interested stakeholders in the civil aviation, border control and security communities.
The new ICAO TRIP secure platform became operational in March. This collaborative web-based platform provides a dynamic user tool with a view to sharing traveller identification information and practices in a range of key areas.
Voluntary Support for ICAO’s Work
Under the assistance provided to States for the ICAO TRIP Strategy, and in line with the No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative, efforts to link the needs of States with ICAO expertise and the donor community continued to be successful. The Canada-funded project “Strengthening Travel Document Security and Identification Management in the Sahel” was successfully closed in June with the conduct of a last technical assessment mission in Cameroon and the finalization of an ICAO Training Package (ITP) entitled “Control of the Authenticity and Validity of Travel Documents at Airport Borders – Level 1”. This training course was developed jointly with ICAO to meet the increasing demand for technical assistance by ICAO Member States to reduce the use of fraudulent travel documents in order to combat cross-border crime and terrorism. The ITP aims at further advancing knowledge and skills required by front-line officers to identify fraudulent travel documents when performing travel document examination.
Furthermore, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea supported ICAO’s work in the areas of facilitation by seconding four Officers to support the implementation of the ICAO TRIP Strategy.