US Air Passenger User Fees
Commercial flights arriving in the US from abroad are subject to Customs Air Passenger User Fee (CUF) and Immigration Air Passenger User Fee (IUF). Passenger user fees were first introduced in the mid-90s and have gone through several changes since then. The competent authority is US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It collects CUF and IUF to fund border inspection services.
Who Must Pay Air Passenger User Fees?
Air Passenger User Fees are only levied on commercial flights arriving in the US from abroad. Commercial flights are flights where passengers are carried for compensation on board civilian aircraft. Non-commercial flights are exempt.
Exempted are also flights arriving from US territories and possessions, namely American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
How Much are Air Passenger User Fees?
Currently, CUF is $6.52 per passenger and IUF is $7.00 per passenger. It is important to note that fees are assessed at the time the ticket is purchased and not when the passenger arrives in the US.
What Are the Obligations?
Air Passenger User Fees must be collected and remitted to CBP by the company that issues the ticket or signs the contract of carriage. The ticket or travel document shall show the amount of CUF and IUF and confirm that both fees have been collected.
Furthermore, aircraft operators have to:
- Set up a Pay.gov account and obtain a Business Partner User Number.
- Declare and pay CUF and IUF through Pay.gov on a quarterly basis no later than 31 days after each quarter *. The submission of nil returns is mandatory.
- Keep records of all ticket sales for up to 6 years.
* Except for IUF from July and August which has to be reported and remitted by 20 September. IUF from September is due on 31 January of the following year.