The government has made it mandatory for airlines to share international passenger details with the customs department citing “risk analysis”.
The decision was made on Monday.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBIC) has said that every airline is now required to provide Passenger Name Record (PNR) details to the National Customs-Passenger Targeting Center (NCTC-P) no later than 24 hours before departure time.
The government said this was done for the purpose of preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting offenses under the Customs Act.
The passenger name record information will include details such as PNR, booking date, benefits information (like free tickets, upgrades) and ticket issuance as well as a frequent flyer.
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Details will also contain payment or billing information, travel itinerary and travel agency.
With this decision, India has now joined the list of 50 other countries that also collect PNR details of international passengers.
The CBIC also said a penalty of ₹25,000 to ₹50,000 will be levied in the event that an air operator does not comply with the mandate.
He clarified that passenger information collected by customs will be subject to strict confidentiality and protection of information, in accordance with applicable legislation. ”
“PNR details will be retained for a maximum of five years,” the gazette notification read.
“There will be an independent and thorough system and security audit on an annual basis, to prevent any misuse of Passenger Name Record information,” he added.
Abhishek Jain, Partner, Indirect Tax, KPMG in India, said: “The objective of these regulations is to obtain relevant passenger data for risk analysis to proactively prevent, detect, investigate or prosecute. infringements of customs legislation or any other national or international legislation. The responsibility to collect and share this information in a timely manner rests with airline operators. Although strict privacy guidelines have been stipulated under the said regulations, the government should ensure that they are duly enforced to prevent unauthorized use.