SAN DIEGO, CA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with Princess Cruises, has expanded the use of facial biometrics in the disembarkation process at the Port of San Diego, becoming the latest seaport to modernize efforts to revolutionize cruise travel.
“As cruise travel resumes at our nation’s ports, it is increasingly important to implement this technology and safely resume cruising, a vital sector of the U.S. travel economy,” said Jennifer De La O, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego.
De La O reiterated that with the biometric facial matching process, travelers will benefit from secure, contactless and expedited U.S. entry procedures, while CBP protects the privacy of all users.
According to CBP information, upon disembarking from the cruise ship at a U.S. seaport, passengers will be required to stop for a photo that will be compared to the traveler’s passport or visa photo in DHS secure systems to biometrically verify their identity.
Once verified, passengers can pass the inspections and exit the terminal. This entry process will secure and enhance the customer experience while protecting the privacy of all travelers. The government agency said the enhanced arrival process using facial biometrics verifies the traveler’s identity in two seconds and is more than 98% accurate.
U.S. travelers and selected foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometric data and wish to opt in to the new biometric process can simply request a manual document check from a CBP officer, in accordance with existing requirements for admission to the United States.
To date, biometric facial matching technology is available at 16 U.S. seaports and has been successfully used to process passengers arriving on cruise ships in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Texas, California, Washington, Louisiana, Alabama, Puerto Rico and Maryland.
Currently, more than 240 million travelers have participated in the biometric facial matching process at air, land and sea ports of entry.
Since November 2022, CBP has leveraged facial biometrics to prevent more than 1,600 imposters using authentic travel documents from illegally entering the United States at air and land ports of entry.