Airlines operating in India will be required to mandatorily share Passenger Name Record (PNR) details of all international passengers with customs authorities 24 hours prior to flight departures.
India’s Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC), which is under the finance ministry, published the ‘Passenger Name Record Information Regulations, 2022‘ on August 8, 2022.
Calling it a “risk analysis” of passengers, the CBIC regulation aims to prevent economic and other legal offenders from fleeing the country, as well as keep an eye on other illicit trade such as smuggling.
Under the regulation, airlines are required to share passengers’ names, nationalities, and passport details with immigration authorities 24 hours prior to departure.
Tax evasion in India has been a worrying issue for the country. It is reported that the country is losing $10.3 billion in taxes every year due to international corporate tax abuse and private tax evasion. Local media Financial Express reported in 2020 that only 1 % of the Indian population pays income tax and declares earnings above the non-taxable income.
India joins 60 other countries that collect PNR details of international passengers.
In 2016, the European Union published a directive on the use of PNR from airlines, “for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime”. In June 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union decided that airlines no longer have to share passenger PNR details within member states.