The Mexican government has lifted a requirement that pilots of arriving and departing private general aviation flights use a third-party provider to file the required Mexican advanced passenger information system (APIS) manifests, and has clarified related procedures.
Responding to an April 2014 inquiry from Rick Gardner of Caribbean Sky Tours at the request of AOPA, Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) issued a clarification addressing some aspects of procedures pilots must follow.
In the communication—the first written communication received on the matter from Mexican officials—INM confirmed that as of September 2014, general aviation pilots of private flights can file the APIS form themselves under an interim process. A manifest must be filed by completing an approved Excel spreadsheet that is similar, but not identical, to a spreadsheet used by ARINC for Mexican APIS filings. See guidance on filling out the spreadsheet. Based on the approximately 32,000 U.S.-Mexico border crossings each year, AOPA estimates that allowing pilots to file directly will result in a savings of $1.6 million per year.
The required timing of APIS filings also has been modified. The manifest must be emailed within 24 hours of departure, and resent 30 minutes prior to takeoff to confirm the flight. Pilots will receive a reply from Mexican Immigration that the manifest has been received.
The Mexican government is continuing work on a free public portal for pilots to use in filing APIS information. This AOPA Online page contains a summary of issues addressed in the INM’s letter.