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CBP biometric facial comparison boosts fast, secure processing at US border entries

Simplified Arrival launches at TPA, expands at RGV
CBP biometric facial comparison boosts fast, secure processing at US border entries

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is expanding use of its biometric facial comparison Simplified Arrival screening process. While the agency is launching Simplified Arrival at Tampa International Airport (TPA), the system, which has been in use at Southwestern border crossings since 2018, is now available all pedestrian ports of entry in the Rio Grande Valley.

CBP Simplified Arrival using face biometrics launches at Tampa Intl. Airport

CBP this week announced the launch of Simplified Arrival at TPA. The new measure promises streamlined processing for international arrivals through automated document checks using face biometrics. According to CBP, Simplified Arrival will aid the agency’s efforts to provide secure and touchless travel while also meeting a congressional mandate that calls for biometric entry and exit processing of non-U.S. citizens.

U.S. citizens and select foreign nationals who are not obliged to provide biometrics are welcome to choose whether or not to use Simplified Arrival. In case they are eligible to opt-out, travelers can notify a CPB officer that they wish to do so once they arrive at the primary inspection point. CBP reports that since 2018 face biometrics have allowed it to detect approximately 600 imposters who used authentic travel documents that belonged to other individuals. The agency has processed well over 68 million participating travelers using biometric facial comparison at its various ports of entry.

TPA Executive VP of Operations and Customer Service John Tiliacos stated, “Biometric screening is a huge advancement in air travel safety and convenience that sets us up for even more contactless and efficient processes in the future.”

Face biometrics help CBP officers to detect two impostors at Dulles Airport

Biometric facial comparison technology helped CBP officers at Dulles International Airport to detect two imposters who arrived from Brussels, Belgium. The two Cameroonian women were detected separately at CBP inspection booths equipped with biometric face comparison technology after a mismatch was reported between them and the true owners of the passports. After being referred to secondary examination, they both admitted separately that they purchased the genuine U.S. passports abroad. While the women were not criminally charged, CBP confiscated the passports and ordered the removal of the women from the United States.

CBP Baltimore Field Office Acting Director of Field Operations Keith Fleming stated, “This is a great example of how Customs and Border Protection officers use their law enforcement experience coupled with biometric facial comparison technology to intercept impostors deliberately masquerading as lawful travelers.”

Simplified Arrival now available at all RGV pedestrian border crossings

CBP also announced that it has expanded its Simplified Arrival to include all of its Rio Grande Valley (RGV) pedestrian border crossings. This expansion will help streamline international arrivals at RGV border entries that include the Rio Grande City Port of Entry (RGC), Los Ebanos Ferry, and Port of Roma. The process promises a 98 percent accuracy rate and only takes a few seconds. Non-U.S. citizens who have visited before and have been previously processed do not need to provide fingerprints anymore, making the arrival process mostly touchless.

CBP Laredo Field Office Director of Field Operations Randy J. Howe stated, “CBP has evaluated and fine-tuned the biometric facial comparison technology we have been testing at the Southwest Border since the summer of 2018 to deliver a secure, streamlined travel experience that will also support travel recovery efforts.”

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