June 28, 2016

Hirono: Singapore’s Inclusion In Global Entry Is Good For Hawaii

Program Allows Expedited Screening For Trusted Travelers, Bolstering Tourism & National Security

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today 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. Senator 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 Hawaii’s busy summer travel season.

“Singapore’s inclusion in the Global Entry program will facilitate and expedite travel between our two countries,” said Senator Hirono. “I appreciate the action by CBP to support Singapore’s participation in the Global Entry Program, which will benefit Hawaii’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.”

Senator Hirono is a longtime advocate of expanding the Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs to expand Hawaii’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 Hawaii and Hawaii Tourism Authority support Senator Hirono’s effort:

"The U.S. Global Entry Program between the U.S. and Singapore is good news for Hawaii. 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 Hawaii'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 Hawaii.

“We appreciate Senator Hirono’s effort to get Singapore added to the Global Entry Program. This is welcome news for Hawaii’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 Hawaii 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 Hawaii has to offer,” said George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

"This agreement between the United States and Singapore comes as great news, particularly during a time when some countries are being pressured to impose greater restrictions on travel. This relationship should stimulate more business and leisure travel and potentially boost increased travel for the Hawaiian Islands from Southeast Asia , from countries like Singapore. We applaud Congress and the Obama Administration on this achievement and hope they will continue to pursue new partners for the Trusted Traveler Program," said Mufi Hannemann, President & CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association.

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.