eAPIS: Frequently Asked Questions

AOPA continues to work with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to obtain clarification for Members’ concerns regarding eAPIS.  Below are some of the most frequently asked questions with answers.

Can’t find an answer to your question?  Take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online course, Understanding eAPIS and review the FAQs at the end of the course! Or call the Pilot Information Center at 1/800-USA-AOPA (872-2672).

Table of Contents

CBP also provides a list of frequently asked questions that can be viewed online.

General guidance and clarification from CBP when submitting a manifest:

To facilitate private aviation manifest submissions, CBP has made several options available:

  • A manifest must be submitted a minimum of 1 hour prior to departure, but there is no maximum timeframe set. You may submit your manifest well in advance of your flight, so you may submit prior to your departure to the location where you know there will be no computer available. CBP recommends that you do not submit your manifest until your flight details and traveler list are clearly determined.
  • Although the pilot will still be the responsible party, the regulations also allow for the pilot to designate someone to transmit the information for him/her.
  • The new regulations require pilots of private aircraft, or their designees, to transmit electronically to CBP passenger manifest information for each individual traveling onboard the aircraft. Original arrival and departure manifests generally must be submitted via eAPIS or another CBP-approved data interchange system. However, on a limited case-by-case basis, CBP may permit a pilot to submit or update notice of arrival and arrival/departure manifest information telephonically when unforeseen circumstances preclude submission of the information via eAPIS.
  • When reliable means for giving notice are not available (for example, when departure is from a remote place) a landing can be made at a foreign place where notice can be sent prior to coming into the United States.

Who is required to participate in this requirement?

This requirement of electronic submission applies to any private aircraft arriving to the United States from a foreign location and any private aircraft departing the United States for a foreign location. This includes US registered aircraft and foreign registered aircraft.

For flights between the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Island of the United States, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands that do not stop in a foreign port or place, an APIS manifest is not required. Contact CBP at a port of entry to see if other CBP requirements exist. 

Does CBP want my P.O. Box address or the physical address of my home?

CBP is looking for a physical address in the US, not a mailing address. If a location does not have a USPS address, supply your “911” address for sending out police, fire, ambulance, etc.

I am acting as the pilot in command. Can I list my wife as "crew" on my manifest?

Only one person per manifest can be listed as the "pilot" and this is typically the person acting as pilot in command of the flight. Other pilots and/or crew on board may be listed as "crew." According to CBP, a crewmember is a person other than the pilot in command serving on board the aircraft in a capacity required for normal operation and service of the flight. Typically, in an aircraft rated for single pilot operations, your wife will not meet the definition of a crewmember and therefore should be listed as a passenger.

Saving a partially completed manifest

If you begin to fill out a Notice of Departure or Arrival and close out of eAPIS before submitting your manifest, the next time you log in a screen will appear stating, “You currently have a Saved Manifest”. You will then be given the option to proceed with the saved manifest. TIP: If you want to start filling out the manifest, but are not exactly sure of your departure time, fill out as much as you can and then close out of the Web site. Once you are confident of your departure time, you can log back into eAPIS and submit.

Adding or Deleting a Passenger's Name

Once you have submitted a manifest through eAPIS, if you need to add additional travelers, you can submit another manifest with the same flight information. It is not necessary to resubmit the travelers that have already been transmitted, but you will need to resubmit the pilot each time as eAPIS always requires a pilot for each manifest.

Once a manifest has been submitted, traveler's names cannot be deleted. If a passenger who had been listed on the manifest does not take the flight, it is not necessary to do anything further.

Notice of Departure

While submitting a notice of departure from the United States, I can’t find my airport code of departure? Can’t I depart from any airport in the United States?

Yes. You may depart from any U.S. port or place.

The eAPIS field  titled "CBP Airport" should be addressed as follows:
Enter the ICAO airport code corresponding to your last domestic CBP port of departure.  For example, if you depart, but plan to land for fuel before you cross the border, enter the last airport you will land at before departing the U.S.  For a complete list of airport codes, select the blue Options button to the right of the field. If the airport code is not found, chose the airport code closest to your departure site. If you’re not leaving from that CBP airport location, enter details of departure location below in the field titled, "Actual Departure Location Description".

The “CBP Airport” field is used to assign the departure manifest to the correct CBP associated airport facility, but the “Actual Departure Location Description” field should list the airport from where you actually depart.

Canceling or Updating a Notice of Departure (from the U.S.)

eAPIS does not currently have the option available to cancel a manifest once it has been submitted. Once a departure submission has received the email indicating “Based upon the information submitted, you are cleared for departure”, the aircraft is free to depart. It would not be necessary to contact CBP if you decide to cancel the flight or you are departing at a time different than first reported. Of course, if the local CBP port had made contact indicating that an outbound inspection was planned, the pilot would want to notify them about a time change.

I have not received my clearance to depart, what should I do?

There may be a mistake with your email address.  Log into eAPIS, go to “Manage Account”, then “Modify Primary Account Holder” and verify your email address is correct. After the change, you will need to submit the manifest again.

If additional difficulties exist, email the system administrator at private.aircraft.support@dhs.gov.

Notice of Arrival

Canceling or Updating a Notice of Arrival (to the U.S.)

eAPIS does not currently have the option available to cancel a manifest once it has been submitted. Changing of airports and/or times does not need to be completed in eAPIS as long as the flight is on the same date. For these changes, please contact the affected CBP Port of Entry airport. If changes need to be made after you are airborne, contact FSS and request that the message be relayed to Customs. If there is a change to the date of a flight, a new manifest should be submitted through eAPIS.