Today the U.S. Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection announced the publication of the interim rule on a Travel Promotion Fee and a Fee for Use of the System of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which will become effective on 8 September 2010. It requires ESTA applicants to pay a fee of $ 14.00, which is the sum of the $10 travel promotion fee defined in the legislation and a fee of $ 4.00 (now defined by the Secretary of Homeland Security) to ensure the recovery of the full costs of providing and administering the ESTA.
In December 2008 the Commission carried out an assessment of the interim ESTA rule, concluding that at that stage the interim ESTA system was not to be considered as tantamount to a visa application process as defined in the Common Consular Instructions (now the Visa Code). The Commission will carry out a definitive assessment once the Final Rule on ESTA will be published by the US Federal authorities.