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Thai Advance Passenger Processing System (APPS) & Vaccine Certification

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the APP System. I haven't gotten to talking about this in some time. APPS is one of these things that is kind of part of the underbelly if you will or the undercarriage, the internal gears if you will of the Thai Immigration system. Frankly I would like to talk about this stuff more often but folks seem to find it kind of boring it looks like from the responses we see in the videos. In a sense, and I deal with immigration all the time so I find very mundane things kind of interesting. The APP System is just one of those things I find interesting. It is relatively new and it is extremely efficient. I have seen the APP System in practice and it really does what it is billed to do, let's put it that way. 

So a recent article from the Bangkok Post, that is, the article is titled: Passenger Processing System to Check Arrivals Health Info. Quoting directly: "The Advanced Passenger Processing System (APPS) is being upgraded to check incoming air passengers for their health documentation ahead of their arrival as the country is set to reopen to international tourism starting next month according to the Airports of Thailand (AoT). AoT President, Nitinai Sirismatthakarn told a Thai program on Tuesday a similar system has been in place to single out people with criminal records as a means of heightening border security." Yes, that is definitely true. We have done videos on that. The APP System as we have discussed in other videos, if you are flagged on the APP System for prior criminal activity either inside of Thailand or elsewhere, you may not even be able to board the flight to get in to Thailand. We have seen that happen, especially with connecting flights, places like Hong Kong, places not even with connecting flights, direct flights to Singapore, we have dealt with clients who were unable to get on a plane. In some cases it could be rectified, in some cases it couldn't. Quoting further, again from this Bangkok Post article titled: Passenger Processing System to Check Arrivals Health Info. Quoting directly: "The APPS allows Customs Officials, Airport and Airline staff and Immigration Police to obtain the profiles of passengers from their countries of origin. They are able to check if passengers are blacklisted or banned from leaving a country." Yeah, again it really is quite an efficient system and when you have seen it in practice, you really see it basically nips it in the bud, for lack of a better term from the standpoint of Thai Immigration because often times they just notify the airport where the intending person that is looking to arrive in Thailand is coming from and that person oftentimes doesn't even leave that airport. Quoting further: "Now the system is being used to run checks on incoming passengers for their health certification and whether they meet vaccination requirements." Quoting further: "The APPS meets global standards in its capability to verify the authenticity of Vaccination Certificates." Quoting further: "Mr. Nitinai said the System will ramp up the health screening of international arrivals and reinforce its safeguards against the spread of COVID-19 as the country gradually reopens its borders and restores tourism." 

There is a lot going on in that article. I urge those watching this video, go read it in full if you are interested in this topic. There is more detail in there. Long story short, it looks like they are going to start using APPS as effectively the processing system if you will for a lot of these so-called vaccination certificates, sometimes referred to as Vaccination Passports. Again, not to be confused with what is being called in some places like a Covid Pass, a Green Pass, a passport if you will to go out to a restaurant in your locality. It is not to be confused with that. What we are talking about here is vaccination documentation in an international travel context not in a local context, so bit of a difference well not a bit, a chasm of a difference as folks who watch this channel, I have major issues with respect to "COVID Passports" in the context of living one's daily life, within one's country. However, vaccination documentation associated with international travel, I think reasonable people can strongly disagree with one another on whether or not it is needed in these circumstances. Leaving that aside there has been vaccination documentation associated with travel most notably malaria and yellow fever to certain countries including Thailand in the past which were just required in order to come to Thailand. To my mind it was not unforeseeable that this could come about again and be digitized as apparently it is being digitized with respect to documentation and the APP System. So something to look out for and something to think about when we are dealing with travel to Thailand in the relatively near future.