Border Overflight Exemption BOE

by Admin on August 10, 2022

Overflight permits are authorizations from Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) to overfly that country’s airspace. These differ in terms of regulations and airspace coverage area, depending on the country.

With a Border Overflight Exemption BOE, you can overfly the first designated Airport of Entry (AOE) and operate instead directly to your destination in the U.S. This exemption applies when arriving into the U.S. from below the 30th parallel in the Eastern U.S., and below the 33rd parallel in the Western U.S.

All requests are now handled through CBP headquarters through the GA Support mailbox ([email protected]) with no need to submit sensitive data through unsecure channels (mail, faxes, emails, etc.)

While if you frequently operate between the United States and the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, you should consider applying for a Border Overflight Exemption (BOE) to streamline your missions.

With Border Overflight Exemption BOE status you can also optimize mission itineraries, improve safety by reducing take-off/landing cycles, and reduces fuel and maintenance expenses.

The great news is that with some advanced planning, business aviation flights can take advantage of the Border Overflight Exemption (BOE) and use the AOE best suited to your needs. Granted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), BOEs can save considerable time and expense for both international visitors and those returning to the U.S. from a trip to the south.


What Are the Types of BOEs and What Is the Processing Time?

You may apply for single-trip or term (annual) BOE. Paperwork requirements are similar for both types of BOEs and approval time depends on customs workload. Term BOEs are the most widely used and provide best operational flexibility.

While official processing time is 15 business days for a single trip BOE and 30 business days for a term BOE, this can vary. Each BOE is approved on a case-by-case basis and processing time depends upon port workload. Busy season for Border Overflight Exemption BOE requests is August to March and end-of-the-year approvals can be slower than normal due to the holidays.

There are sometimes instances of mixed use of aircraft by mixed entities and the CBP remind operators that the entity (name) granted the Overflight Exemption must exactly match the entity (name) listed in the APIS manifest which must exactly match the entity (name) in any other supporting documentation or certificates.

Once an Overflight Exemption has been granted, utilization of the privilege begins with an APIS manifest, and since APIS is the virtual representation of the flight, the Operator name in APIS must match the Operator name in the Overflight Exemption letter which must match the Operator name in any other substantiating documents or certificates.


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What is CBP?

CBP means U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Air and Marine Operations (AMO) is a federal law enforcement component within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

CBP Officers work in a fast-paced environment at 328 ports of entry throughout the United States. They are responsible for border security, including counterterrorism, customs, immigration, trade, and agriculture


What Is Aircraft Operator? Can Any Operator Request a BOE?

Aircraft operator means a person who authorizes to be used an aircraft, with or without the right of legal control (as owner, lessee, or otherwise), for the purpose of air navigation including the piloting of aircraft, or on any part of the surface of an airport. The owner of the aircraft is the person whose name is registered in a state registry, certificate (certificate of registration of civil aircraft).

BOEs are available for any aircraft operator. No additional information is required of non-U.S. registered operators. The approval process involves background checks and vetting of both crew and passengers.

All aircraft under the same operator name are approved under one BOE.


Conditions for Requesting BOE Approval

For Border Overflight Exemption BOE approval, aircraft operator should comply with the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) procedures and the receiving port of entry must grant landing rights. Hence, crew members must be listed in the BOE application and the aircraft must be operated according to mandated BOE flight rules. A copy of the Overflight Exemption onboard is too important whether it’s an electronic copy on a tablet, EFB or other smart device.

BOEs Applications require company and aircraft information, complete crew and passenger information (date of birth, passport number and home address), along with a list of departure airports (non-U.S.) and arrival airports (U.S.). Additionally, some ports require information on your business, as well as your reasons for needing a BOE. You may include up to 35 non-U.S. airports and 35 U.S. airports on BOE applications. Some ports allow you to list non-U.S. countries for departure points, rather than individual airports (it is preferable), as that will cover all airports within that country.


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Can a 3rd Party Provider Apply for Border Overflight Exemption BOE on Behalf of the Operator?

If there is insufficient information, or the application format is wrong, a BOE may be denied or delayed, so to avoid common errors a 3rd party provider can obtain a BOE help you avoid that might be made in the process of requesting one. Some ports process applications faster than others. For example, Los Angeles, CA (KLAX) usually requires 45 – 60 days to approve a term BOE, whereas the process is seldom longer than 30 days at other ports. Also, Newark, NJ (KEWR) receives the majority of BOE requests, so the turnaround on requests depends on their workload.


Border Overflight Exemption BOE Revision

For Border Overflight Exemption BOE revisions you need to modify info for crew, passengers, aircraft or airports, it may be made throughout the year. By regulation, revisions require 30 days to process, but can usually be accomplished within that time frame. BOE information and revisions are available to customs via a database. Before you’re granted landing rights, Customs will check the status of your BOE. However, it’s best practice to carry a hard copy aboard your aircraft. Always provide the latest copy of your BOE when utilizing a 3rd-party provider, as it will assist with verifying information when customs is being arranged.

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have revised the Border Overflight Exemptions (BOE) to be Aircraft Operator specific only. Now with the most recent change, Crew information will also be removed from newly approved BOE’s.

However, there are several different valid versions of the BOE letters issued by CBP;

  • Some valid letters have the aircraft operator, approved aircraft, and approved crew.
  • Other valid letters have only the aircraft operator and approved crew.
  • New version will only contain the aircraft operator.


It is important to highlight that aircraft operators must abide by the current version of the letter issued to them by the CBP. If their BOE letter shows aircraft and crew, it can only be utilized on flights using the aircraft and crew listed on their letter. If their BOE letter shows only crew, it can only be used for flights on any company aircraft with only the listed crew members.

CBP will process new Border Overflight Exemption BOE letters to aircraft operators as requested.  However, please understand obtaining the most current version may take longer than the CBP’s standard lead time due to this recent version change. Therefore, Aircraft Operators should request any revisions to their BOE well ahead of their upcoming BOE required flights.

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