The APEC Travel Facilitation Initiative (TFI) is a cross-cutting, multi-year activity that was endorsed by Leaders in 2011 to expedite the movement of travelers in the Asia Pacific region. Its goal is to enable more efficient, more secure and less stressful travel.
The TFI consists of six components: the Airport Partnership Program, the APEC Business Travel Card, the Trusted Traveler Program, Air Passenger Security Screening, Advance Passenger Information and Checked Baggage Facilitation. The TFI is implemented by five APEC sub-fora: the Business Mobility Group (BMG), the Sub Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP), the Transportation Working Group (TPTWG), the Tourism Working Group (TWG) and the Counter Terrorism Working Group (CTWG). The SCE is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the TFI with the TFI Steering Council (established in 2012) supporting the coordination of efforts between the five sub fora.
The objective of this self-funded project by the United States is to undertake a mid-term assessment which will aim to:
1) Assess progress against the stated objectives under the six activity areas of the TFI and identify gaps and challenges in implementation.
2) Examine the validity of the design of the TFI to ensure its relevance and recommend any changes to the design in the final two years of the initiative, including to Ministers and Leaders if applicable.
3) Examine the effectiveness of the established coordination mechanisms such as the TFI Steering Council. This will inform arrangements beyond 2015.
4) Identify key indicators to measure progress towards the achievement of the initiative’s long-term goals. These indicators will be used in the final TFI assessment planned for 2017.
To achieve these objectives, the study will involve an assessment of progress to date under each of the six activity areas. The methodology for the mid-term assessment will include: a review of key documentation under each of the pillars; consultations with key stakeholders including the private sector and multilateral and industry bodies such as ICAO, WCO, IATA and ACI to assess where APEC work complements the work done by these bodies; and a series of targeted economy-level surveys undertaken through each of the five sub-fora involved in implementing the initiative. The surveys will gather information on progress against the TFI priorities, current travel facilitation priorities and challenges, and additional work planned for the last two years of the initiative.