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Airlines asked to share PNR details of international passengers with govt


It will now be mandatory for all airlines operating in the country to share PNR details of passengers with customs authorities 24 hours prior to the departure of international flights. According to reports, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), under the finance ministry, on August 8 notified the ‘Passenger Name Record Information Regulations, 2022’.

The move will prevent economic and other offenders from fleeing the country as well as check any illicit trade such as smuggling.

Airlines will have to provide details including the name of the passenger, contact and payment details which will be used by the customs department for improved surveillance and risk assessment of passengers entering or leaving the country, a notification by the Finance Ministry read.

As of now, airlines were instructed to share passenger information limited to name, nationality and passport details in advance with the immigration authorities.

Airlines will now have to share the name of the passenger, billing/payment information (credit card number), date of issue of ticket as well as intended travel and names of other travellers in the same PNR, travel itinerary for the PNR, contact details like email id, mobile number, details of travel agency, baggage information and code share information (when one airline sells seats on another air carrier’s flight).

“The National Customs Targeting Centre-Passenger, set up by the CBIC, will process information for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of offences under the Customs Act and also for the law enforcement agencies or government departments or any other country,” the notification stated further.

Currently, around 60 countries have the law that collect PNR details of international passengers.

Non-compliance to these regulations will end up airline companies paying hefty fines – a penalty of a minimum of Rs 25,000 and a maximum of Rs 50,000.

KPMG in India, Partner, Indirect Tax, Abhishek Jain said the objective of said regulations is to obtain relevant passenger data for risk analysis to proactively prevent, detect, investigate or prosecute offences under the customs law or any other domestic or international law.

“The onus of timely collecting and sharing such information has been put on the airline operators. Further, while strict privacy guidelines have been stipulated under the said regulations, the government should ensure that the same are duly enforced to prevent unauthorised usage,” news agency PTI quoted Jain as saying.