As announced by the White House, the United States will host the U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, August 5 and Wednesday, August 6, 2014. This historic summit, the first of its kind, will bring leaders from across the African continent to the nation’s capital and further strengthen ties with one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions. The Summit will build on the progress made since President Obama’s trip to Africa last summer, advance the focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.
This initial Summit advisory provides information about visa requirements. Follow-on advisories will provide information in the coming weeks on a broad array of media-related topics. The next advisory will be distributed in early June and will include information on the accreditation process.
The U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit program is not yet finalized. Further information may be forthcoming in early July, and a definitive Summit media program will be delivered to media representatives upon accreditation. Currently, and in order to guide media travel plans, the U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit Committee is working on a tentative program from Tuesday, August 5 through the evening of Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Additional Summit-related events will also be held on Monday, August 4.
There will be an online media accreditation system. Media representatives wishing to cover the U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit and related events and/or to enter the Media Center must apply to receive a credential. The link to apply for accreditation is expected to be announced in the coming weeks and open from mid-June through mid-July.
In addition, pool cards for individual U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit and related events will be needed. Procedures for pool cards will be detailed in a subsequent media advisory.
Visas and Customs
Media traveling on “I” visas, who are NOT traveling on the same plane as the Head of delegation/Head of State:
All media covering the Summit who are not U.S. citizens, or who do not currently hold a work permit, are required to have an “I” visa. The Visa Waiver Program does not cover individuals coming to the U.S. to work, even for a short period of time. Additionally, the Visa Waiver Program is not applicable to persons traveling on diplomatic passports. Visit http://travel.state.gov for more information.
Media Equipment: Media bringing in equipment (from outside the U.S.) to the Summit should obtain a Temporary Importation Bond (TIB) or ATA Carnet.
A TIB allows members of the media to transport equipment (tools of the trade) without incurring duty. For those unfamiliar with the process, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends hiring a broker to facilitate the process. A list of brokers may be found on the DHS website. Additional information may be found at: http://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/590/kw/tib/sno/1.
An ATA Carnet is an international customs document that allows for the temporary importation of professional equipment, and is accepted for goods traveling between the U.S. and other designated countries. The International Chamber of Commerce maintains a list of Carnet-issuing organizations in each participating country. For a list of participating countries and more information on how to obtain an ATA Carnet, please visit: https://iccwbo.org/resources-for-business/ata-carnet/
Additional information regarding ATA Carnets may be found at: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/list/kw/Carnet/sno/1/search/1/session/L3NpZC81UURXKnpFaw%3D#3D
Media traveling on “I” visas as part of an official delegation on the same plane as the Head of Delegation/Head of State:
Media must request a Department of Homeland Security US-VISIT exemption to avoid the TIB/Carnet requirement. Please contact your Embassy in Washington, D.C., which will make a formal request to the U.S. Department of State. The exemption is specific to the individual visa holder and is only valid for (1) entry to the U.S. on a specified date. A Diplomatic Note from the corresponding foreign Embassy requesting for US –Visit Exemption should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with biographical data of the individual needing the US-VISIT exemption as well as a flight itinerary and substantial justification. US-VISIT exemptions are not automatic.
Media who are Official Photographers/Videographers or Press Officers traveling on “A” or “G” visas on the same plane as, or traveling independently from the Head of Delegation/Head of State:
Government official photographers/videographers or press officers who travel on “A” or “G” visas require a Diplomatic Note to allow equipment to enter the U.S. without being assessed duties.