The Government of the Cayman Islands has signed a deal with United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to establish a customs and immigration fast track system at the Miami International Airport for US visitors coming to the British territory.
Immigration clearance in Miami
At the signing on Wednesday between Deputy Governor Franz Manderson CBP Executive Assistant Director Todd Owen, it was disclosed that the aim is to enable air passengers to clear the Cayman Islands official entrance process before take-off, so that when they land at Owen Roberts International Airport they can quickly pass through to baggage claim.
The new process, which is the first of its kind, is in the pilot phase.
It will initially be a Sunday only service, one of the busiest days, for just Cayman Airways passengers, but it could be expanded to Saturdays and possibly to American Airlines.
According to Premier Alden McLaughlin, the fast-track airport clearance, has been on the cards for some time.
At a press conference held following the signing, he said that technical issues as well as the hurricanes during this past season had delayed the implementation, but he was pleased it was now on track.
New fast-track procedure
“It will introduce a new fast track procedure at the airport and help to improve customer experience at peak weekend times,” McLaughlin said. “Our new border control procedures will also be more effective and more welcoming to all who pass through the airport. The work on the initiatives being announced today is a good example of a multi-agency approach within the civil service and our friends in the UK and the USA. This improved cooperation is also part of this government’s overall plans to improve border protection,” he said.
Starting in March
The new arrangement means that starting in March, Cayman immigration and customs officers will start working in Miami to pre-clear visitors.
The premier added that there will be no reciprocal arrangement for Caymanian passport holders visiting the US due to the low number of travelers and the high cost of hosting US security and border control at ORIA.