U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is expected to propose a rule tomorrow that would expand the collection of biometrics upon arrival and departure at all ports of entry. The agency posted an unpublished version of the proposed rule today.

  • The proposed rule would expand biometrics collection to all foreign nationals at all arrival and departure ports of entry.
  • Additionally, to expand the use of facial recognition technology, the rule would authorize CBP to require all travelers to have their photos taken upon entry and departure. U.S. citizens could opt out of having their photo taken and ask for an alternate inspection method.
  • A 30-day comment period would follow publication of the proposed rule.

Background: Currently, the agency implements a biometrics program upon entry, but has implemented only a pilot program for departure that covers certain foreign nationals exiting at land ports and 15 seaports and airports.

BAL Analysis: The proposed rule indicates the agency’s priority in implementing a comprehensive entry and exit biometrics requirement. The rule is in the proposal stage. It would not take effect until after the conclusion of the 30-day comment period (around Dec. 19) and after the agency has reviewed all comments and issued a final rule with an implementation date. The final version of the rule may differ from the proposed version.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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