BOSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line, expanded the use of facial biometrics into the debarkation process at the Port of Boston, becoming the latest seaport to modernize efforts to revolutionize cruise travel.
“With the return of cruise ships to Boston, CBP is working diligently with Norwegian Cruise Lines to make travel safer and more efficient,” said Jennifer B. De La O, Director of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations in Boston. “Facial biometrics adds an extra layer of security and further enhances the travel experience by utilizing safe, touch-free technology that streamlines entry procedures.”
Upon debarkation at a U.S. seaport, cruise vessel passengers will pause for a photo that will be compared to their existing passport or visa photo in secure Department of Homeland Security systems to biometrically verify their identity. Once verified, passengers are allowed to proceed through inspections and exit the terminal. This innovative entry process further secures and enhances the customer experience while protecting the privacy of all travelers. With a more than 98% accuracy rate, the improved arrival process using facial biometrics verifies the traveler’s identity within two seconds.
U.S. travelers and select foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and wish to opt out of the new biometric process can simply request a manual document check from a CBP Officer, consistent with existing requirements for admission into the United States.
Currently, facial biometric comparison technology is available at 18 seaports across the United States and has been successfully used to process arriving passengers on cruise vessels in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Texas, California, Washington, Louisiana, Alabama, Puerto Rico, Maryland, and now Massachusetts.
To date, more than 227 million travelers have participated in the biometric facial comparison process at air, land, and seaports of entry.
As of March 2023, CBP has leveraged facial biometrics to prevent more than 1,750 impostors using genuine travel documents from illegally entering the United States at air and land ports of entry. More information on CBP’s use of biometric facial comparison technology to secure and streamline the arrival and departure process can be found here.
The Boston Field Office covers ports of entry in the six New England states of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality. Learn what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2021. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.
Follow the Director of CBP’s Boston Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBoston for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos, and CBP’s Office of Field Operations on Instagram at @cbpfieldops.