WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 28, 2016) — U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono on Tuesday announced that Singapore has been officially added to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Global Entry Program, which means that Singaporean citizens can now apply for expedited customs clearance for visiting the United States and vice versa. Hirono led a bipartisan effort to encourage the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to add Singapore to the Global Entry Program in time for Hawai‘i’s busy summer travel season.
“Singapore’s inclusion in the Global Entry program will facilitate and expedite travel between our two countries,” Hirono said. “I appreciate the action by CBP to support Singapore’s participation in the Global Entry Program, which will benefit Hawai‘i’s visitor industry in time for the busy summer travel season. This decision also allows CBP to direct security resources to where they are needed most.”
Hirono is a longtime advocate of expanding the Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs to expand Hawai‘i’s international visitor industry. In April, Senator Hirono led a similar effort in support of United States negotiations with Taiwan for inclusion in the Global Entry Program. Those negotiations have commenced and are underway.
The Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority support Senator Hirono’s effort.
“The U.S. Global Entry Program between the U.S. and Singapore is good news for Hawai‘i. With Singapore as our second largest export market, this bilateral initiative will serve to enhance trade, business and tourism links between both countries, taking advantage of Hawai‘i’s geographic location and further strengthening our state’s strong relationship with Asia. We applaud Senator Hirono’s work in this area, following up on her leadership in support of Taiwan’s inclusion in this program in April,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i.
“We appreciate Senator Hirono’s effort to get Singapore added to the Global Entry Program. This is welcome news for Hawai‘i’s tourism industry and a decision that will improve the process and travel experience for Singapore’s citizens visiting the Hawaiian Islands on leisure and business. Singapore and Hawai‘i already enjoy strong cultural connections, and their addition to this program helps strengthen those ties even more by making it more convenient for them to visit and enjoy all that Hawai‘i has to offer,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.
Global Entry participants must be pre-approved by CBP, and undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment. Participants may still be selected for further examination when entering the United States. The Global Entry program allows participants to complete expedited customs and immigration procedures using self-service kiosks at over 50 airports in the U.S., Canada, and select overseas locations, including Honolulu International Airport.
Singapore joins Canada, Mexico, Panama, Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, and South Korea in CBP’s Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs.