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Border Overflight Exemption Revision

Effective Immediately, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have revised the Border Overflight Exemptions (BOE) to be Aircraft Operator specific only.

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

With that said, 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 for aircraft operators to remember they 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 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.

Statement from CBP’s Dianna Sullivan:

"The new format permits operators to operate ALL authorized aircraft with ALL authorized crew while conducting an Overflight arrival.

Because this change in procedure is occurring on a case-by-case, operator-by-operator basis, CBP officers are having to process operators who have been authorized under three sets of terms and conditions. Until we make the full transition where all operators are authorized and operating under the same ALL aircraft, ALL crew authorization, please be patient with our officers.

We are advising our officers the compliance burden of proof lies with the aircraft operator and upon arrival, the aircraft operator must demonstrate compliance by presenting the approval letter and addressing any questions of adherence to the terms and conditions contained therein.  Again, while we transition, aircraft operators will have been issued different letters with different terms and conditions requirements, and will be held accountable to the authorization (the letter) they have been granted.  

As an example, if an aircraft operator has been issued an Overflight Exemption letter permitting only certain aircraft or certain crew, then they are only authorized to utilize those specific aircraft and/or specific crew.  

But, if an aircraft operator has been granted a (new) Overflight Exemption letter permitting ALL authorized aircraft and ALL authorized crew, they are allowed to operate freely as long as the APIS manifest does not indicate any information to deny or prevent the flight’s arrival.

Going forward, as long as your operator name remains unchanged, until your Overflight Exemption nears expiration, there is no need to inform this office of any crew or aircraft updates, changes, or deletions.

Thanks for your patience. Please let us know if you require any assistance or if you are met with any resistance from one of our ports.

For the time being, only submit requests for Overflight Exemption applications, updates, and renewals as they naturally occur. And, since there is no longer any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) being shared, feel free to include the operator information within the body of an email.

Thanks for all your support and partnership in helping make this change occur. We really appreciate it!"


Dianna Sullivan

General Aviation Program Manager-Operations |Office of Field Operations | CBP Headquarters

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