US CBP-Customs and Border Protection, in collaboration with CCL-Carnival Cruise Line, announced that JAXPORT/Jacksonville Florida was the latest homeport to further secure/enhance the passenger debarkation process via the launch of "facial biometric comparison technology for closed loop cruises."
Vernon Foret (CBP’s Director of Field Operations for the Miami and Tampa Field Office) said CBP and CCL were "innovating the cruise debarkation process through the use of facial biometrics to provide travelers a secure, touchless process to verify identity while enhancing the customer experience."
“In addition, CBP and our cruise partners are expanding data sharing agreements to further strengthen the maritime environment.”
The entry process features a secure/streamlined travel experience while protecting the privacy of travelers. Upon debarkation, guests pause for a photo, compared to the existing passport/visa photo in DHS’s secure systems. The enhanced facial biometrics process verifies the identity of the traveler within 2 seconds with over 98% accuracy. Following a confirmed match, passengers can collect their baggage, proceed through inspections and exit the cruise terminal.
American tourists/select foreign nationals may opt out of the facial biometric process and request a manual document check from a CBP Officer.
Facial biometric comparison technology is already available at 17 seaports across the United States. It has been successfully used to process arriving guests on cruise ships in Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Washington.
Image: JAXPORT (Florida USA)
Currently, 276+ million travelers have participated in the biometric facial comparison process at seaports of entry, land, and air. As of January, CBP has leveraged facial biometrics to prevent 1700+ impostors using genuine travel documents from illegally entering the USA at air/land Ports of Entry.