Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Port Everglades Launches Mobile Passport Control Program

As reported earlier this year, Broward County’s Port Everglades is launching the new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) approved Mobile Passport Control (MPC) program for cruise ship travel. On Friday, Nov. 4, it became the first U.S. seaport to use the new Smartphone technology. The MPC program is currently in use at a number of airports across the country, including Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), and has been highly anticipated for use at cruise ports.

The MPC program is the first Smartphone app authorized to expedite a traveler’s entry process into the United States. Developed in partnership with CBP, this first-of-its-kind app allows U.S. citizens with a passport debarking a cruise ship to complete their Customs declaration using their smart phones or other mobile devices, expediting their clearance process in the terminal. It is currently available for iOS phones and is expected to be available for Android phones later this month.

“Port Everglades purchased the required equipment earlier this summer in anticipation of the MPC program’s approval by CBP, and we are now the first and only seaport to offer this app.” said Steven Cernak, Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director. “An added bonus is that MPC will be in service in time for the arrivals of Royal Caribbean Line's Harmony of the Seas and Holland America Line's ms Koningsdam. Mobile Passport Control is another feature that will help us enhance the cruise guest experience.”

U.S. citizen travelers and family groups can use the MPC app to provide their biographic information prior to speaking with a CBP officer. The CBP officer is then able to complete the identity verification and admissibility processing of arriving passengers. Household members who are traveling together may be included in a single submission.

Mobile Passport allows travelers to submit their passport control and customs declaration information via their iPhone or iPad and effectively replaces the traditional blue-and-white paper declaration form required of all travelers entering the U.S. by air or sea. Submissions must be sent upon arrival at port of entry. Receipts are valid for 4 hours. Receipts may NOT be re-used or transferred. I’ll report back soon with some first-hand information about how it actually works.

To download the free Mobile Passport app, simply visit the App Store on your phone, search for Mobile Passport, then follow the instructions to install it and enter your personal information. The app requires that you take a photo of yourself, so be prepared.

By following the steps below, it's proven easy so far
1. Complete your profile with basic passport information.
2. Answer CBP’s questions about your trip in the New Trip portion of the app.
3. Submit your information UPON YOUR ARRIVAL and get a receipt from CBP.
4. Follow the signs to the dedicated Mobile Passport Control lane.
5. Scan your receipt and show your passport to the CBP officer.
Important to remember:
• You must enter your name as it appears on your passport.
• Mobile Passport is not a replacement for your passport.
• Don’t forget to BRING YOUR PASSPORT!
Port Everglades has participated in CBP’s Global Entry program since summer 2015, giving preferential processing to those guests who are Global Entry card holders. Port Everglades also recently completed pilot testing of the Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks in two of its cruise terminals, another CBP initiative to streamline the traveler inspection process.

Photo © Linda Coffman,

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