Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 24, 2017 (SKNIS): The Immigration Amendment Bill 2017 was read a third time and passed into law on Tuesday, May 23, during the Sitting of Parliament, with the object to amend the Immigration Act Chapter 6.02 and for matters connected therewith.
“It is a matter of replacing the provisions which hitherto relate to Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) and to give notice to the fact that we have just brought an Act which stands on its own in relation to the administration of APIS requirements,” said Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation in the Federal Government, the Honourable Mark Brantley, said that the amendment to the Immigration Act was to “tidy up the legislative framework” and to be granted permission “to bring into force and to have and give efficacy to the APIS legislation.”
“This amendment to the Immigration Act in bringing the provisions of the Advance Passenger Information Act into force, what it seeks to do is really to put us on a sure footing in so far as our interaction with our neighbours in the region, but also our interaction with countries outside the region are concerned,” said Minister Brantley. “I can say to the House that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States have come from time to time and done inspections and this is one of the bits of legislation that they had been pushing, that is the Advance Passenger Information legislation and the information that will be provided thereunder.”
Minister Brantley said that it is important to share information with the global community, as this would not only be beneficial, but it will also demonstrate St. Kitts and Nevis’ willingness and commitment to openness and participation.
“I believe that what this now allows us to do is to go the international community and to demonstrate yet again that as a government, we are responsible and responsive. We recognize the realities of today’s world and that we are a trustworthy partner that countries near and far can rely on,” he said. “And for me, that is of critical importance as we engage with other countries and we continue the important dialogue that they recognize it in Basseterre that they have a government that they can rely on, and those partnerships Mr. Speaker, are of critical importance to our country. And so I rise with those few words simply to give my support to this amendment that is proposed to this Immigration Bill because it does as has been said, seeks to bring into the management if you will, a self-contained process under the Advance Passenger Information Act and so removes it from the ambit of the Immigration Act and allows it now its own space, its own management and its own framework within which it will operate.”
Minister Brantley stated that the amendment to the Immigration Act and the passing of the Advance Passenger Immigration Bill are important steps for the federation. He used the occasion to reiterate that St. Kitts and Nevis continues to be responsive whenever called upon by the international community, and in some cases even before they are called upon.
The Advance Passenger Information Bill 2017 was read a third time and passed into law during the May 23 Sitting of Parliament, with the objective of facilitating the provision of advance information relating to passengers and crew members of an aircraft or vessel to share information with other states with a view to identifying persons who may pose risks to security and safety and for matters connected therewith.