APIS - $5,000.00 fine????


Just got an e-mail from our “Government” stating that I had failed to file an APIS - Notice of Departure - and need to respond by a given date. I am researching my flight data/history for a response, but wondering what might I expect? I can’t believe I forgot to file because I routinely fly to Mexico and, if I did, they are talking about a $5000.00 fine!!! Anyone been through this? :blush:


Hire an attorney, in any case it’ll cost you.

You might call and beg for forgiveness but the government is cash poor :frowning:


Oh well, I guess I’m the only one who ever had a problem with Home Land Security! I’ll let you all know how things come out. :open_mouth:


You’ve received the best response, get an attorney.

The email you received stated the date of the failure to file. If you used eAPIS to file, you’ll have your electronic copy as well as the e-mail receipt you will have received containing your confirmation number.

You should already know whether or not you failed to file for the specific flight.

What can you expect? Without representation you can expect to get your d*ck slammed in the door.

Belong to AOPA and have their Legal Services Plan? Contact their legal service IMMEDIATELY!


I find this a little weird that they would EMAIL you and not call or mail you. Seems like a hoax to me.


im4point makes an interesting observation-but remember, the FAA investigation into a violation usually begins with the dreaded ‘Call the Tower’ radio call.


One normally files electronically and receives email confirmations, it’s normal for the GOV to email with exceptions.


IT IS EAPIS, the system prob flagged you and sent you a form email. I wouldn’t be surprised if you get a letter in the mail.


not good


We had this happen a few months ago. We fly to Canada daily Monday through Friday and file eAPIS daily. Mistakes happen rarely and usually the pilot or the Customs officer will call immediately. Generally I (dispatch) apologize and file a correct apis which absolves the problem. It does seem to be entirely at the discretion of the officer clearing you in.

A few months ago we had an apis filled with the wrong pilot. As usual I called apologized and filed a correct apis. Nearly a month later we received an email notifying us of an “intensified review” of that flight.

I responded with the details and scans of the apis confirmation printouts (you do print the confirmation page, right?) They also asked “what corrective action” we were taking to ensure it didn’t happen again.

They responded: “In this case I will not recommend an APIS penalty but I am not sure I can provide similar discretion for future discrepancies.”

As I said it does seem to be at the individual officer’s discretion. I have never dealt with an agency that has such extremes. There are officers locally that have given their home and personal cell phone numbers. Telling me that if we can’t reach the officer on call. To call them at home no matter what time day or night. Then there’s other officers that every little request seems like I’m asking them to move the world.

Granted my situation is different. But the initial email said that the CBP field office indicated that we transmitted apis only after the flight arrived. Apparently they didn’t notify them that an incorrect apis was already filed.

Having a great rapport with an officer or two can go a long way. Good luck. Please update us later.


They are cracking down hard lately I am told. But I know having flown with a friend who had an incident of not filing, and another of showing up back in country having forgotten his passport, on both occasions the fines were not assigned, but the officer made it clear, the next time it would be. That is the only experience I have had with this myself, as I always make eapis a big priority on the pre-flight ck list.