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Document 32005D0372

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2005/372/EC: Council Decision of 3 March 2005 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

OJ L 124, 17.5.2005, p. 41–42 (ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, NL, PL, PT, SK, SL, FI, SV)
OJ L 164M , 16.6.2006, p. 21–22 (MT)
Special edition in Bulgarian: Chapter 11 Volume 040 P. 27 - 28
Special edition in Romanian: Chapter 11 Volume 040 P. 27 - 28
Special edition in Croatian: Chapter 11 Volume 116 P. 24 - 25

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/dec/2005/372/oj
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17.5.2005   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 124/41


COUNCIL DECISION

of 3 March 2005

concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

(2005/372/EC)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 63(3)(b), in conjunction with the second sentence of the first subparagraph of Article 300(2) and the first subparagraph of Article 300(3) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament,

Whereas:

(1)

The Commission has negotiated on behalf of the European Community an Agreement with the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation.

(2)

This Agreement was signed, on behalf of the European Community, on 4 June 2004 subject to its possible conclusion at a later date, in accordance with the Decision of 25 November 2003.

(3)

This Agreement should be approved.

(4)

The Agreement establishes a Joint Readmission Committee which may take decisions having legal effect on certain technical matters. It is therefore appropriate to provide for simplified procedures for the establishment of the Community position in such cases.

(5)

In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, the United Kingdom has notified its wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Decision.

(6)

In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and without prejudice to Article 4 of the said Protocol, Ireland is not taking part in the adoption of this Decision and is not bound by or subject to its application.

(7)

In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of Denmark, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark does not take part in the adoption of this Decision and is not bound by it or subject to its application,

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

The Agreement between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation and the declarations annexed thereto is hereby approved on behalf of the Community.

The text of the Agreement is attached to this Decision.

Article 2

The President of the Council shall give the notification provided for in Article 21(2) of the Agreement.

Article 3

The Commission, assisted by experts from Member States, shall represent the Community in the Joint Readmission Committee established by Article 17 of the Agreement.

Article 4

The position of the Community within the Joint Readmission Committee with regard to the adoption of its rules of procedure as required under Article 17(5) of the Agreement shall be taken by the Commission after consultation with a special committee designated by the Council.

For all other of the Joint Readmission Committee’s decisions, the position of the Community shall be adopted by the Council, acting by qualified majority, on a proposal by the Commission.

Article 5

This Decision shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Done at Brussels, 3 March 2005.

For the Council

The President

F. BILTGEN


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17.5.2005   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 124/43


AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

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For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

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For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

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For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

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For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

Image

For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Image


AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

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For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

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For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

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For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

Image

For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Image


AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

Image

For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Image


AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

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For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

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For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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AGREEMENT

between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Community’,

and

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Sri Lanka’,

hereinafter referred to as ‘the Contracting Parties’,

DETERMINED to strengthen their cooperation in order to combat illegal immigration more effectively,

CONCERNED at the significant increase in the activities of organised criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants and other related criminal activities,

DESIRING to establish, by means of this Agreement and on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation,

EMPHASISING that this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States of the European Union and Sri Lanka under International Law,

CONSIDERING that the provisions of this Agreement, that fall within the scope of Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community, do not apply to the Kingdom of Denmark, in accordance with the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

(a)

‘Member State’ shall mean any Member State of the European Union, with the exception of the Kingdom of Denmark;

(b)

‘National of a Member State’ shall mean any person who holds the nationality, as defined for Community purposes, of a Member State;

(c)

‘National of Sri Lanka’ shall mean any person who holds the citizenship of Sri Lanka;

(d)

‘Third-country national’ shall mean any person who holds a nationality or citizenship other than that of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States;

(e)

‘Stateless person’ shall mean any person who does not hold a nationality. This shall not include persons who have been deprived of, or who have renounced, their nationality since entering the territory of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States respectively unless such persons have at least been promised naturalisation by that State;

(f)

‘Residence authorisation’ shall mean a permit of any type issued by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States entitling a person to reside on its territory. This shall not include temporary permissions to remain on its territory in connection with the processing of an asylum application or an application for a residence authorisation;

(g)

‘Visa’ shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by Sri Lanka or one of the Member States which is required with a view to entry in, or transit through, its territory. This shall not include airport transit visa.

SECTION I

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY SRI LANKA

Article 2

Readmission of own nationals

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of Sri Lanka.

2.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 3

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Sri Lanka shall readmit, upon application by a Member State and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or

(b)

entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka. A person comes directly from Sri Lanka within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived on the territory of the Member States by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or

(b)

the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, Sri Lanka shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If Sri Lanka has not acknowledged receipt of the request of a Member State within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION II

READMISSION OBLIGATIONS BY THE COMMUNITY

Article 4

Readmission of own nationals

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that they are nationals of that Member State.

2.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall extend the validity of the travel document or, where necessary, issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

Article 5

Readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka and without further formalities other than those provided for in this Agreement, all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved, or may be validly established on the basis of prima facie evidence furnished, that such persons:

(a)

at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or

(b)

entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State. A person comes directly from the territory of the requested Member State within the meaning of this subparagraph if he or she arrived in Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

2.   The readmission obligation in paragraph 1 shall not apply if:

(a)

the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via an international airport of the requested Member State; or

(b)

Sri Lanka has issued, to the third country national or stateless person, a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory, unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by the requested Member State, which has a longer period of validity.

3.   If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation in paragraph 1 is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

4.   At the request of Sri Lanka, a Member State shall, as necessary and without delay, issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months. If, for legal or factual reasons, the person concerned cannot be transferred within the period of validity of the travel document that was initially issued, the Member State concerned shall issue a new travel document with the same period of validity expeditiously, which shall normally be within 14 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days. If the Member State concerned has not acknowledged receipt of the request of Sri Lanka within 30 calendar days, it shall be deemed to accept the use of the common provisional travel document for return purposes, which is attached as Annex 7 to this Agreement.

SECTION III

READMISSION PROCEDURE

Article 6

Principle

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, any transfer of a person to be readmitted on the basis of one of the obligations contained in Articles 2 to 5 shall require the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State.

2.   The readmission application may be replaced by a written communication to the requested Contracting Party within a reasonable time period prior to the return of the person concerned provided that:

(a)

the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid travel document and, where applicable, a valid visa or residence authorisation of the requested State; and

(b)

the person to be readmitted is willing to return to the requested State.

Article 7

Readmission application

1.   Where possible, the readmission application is to contain the following information:

(a)

the particulars of the person to be readmitted (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, earlier names, nicknames or pseudonyms, date and place of birth, sex, physical description, father’s and mother’s name, current and any previous nationality, language, civil status, names of spouse, children (if any) or other next of kin, last place of residence, passport or identity card number, driving licence, schools attended);

(b)

indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

2.   To the extent possible, the readmission application should also contain the following information:

(a)

a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care, provided the person concerned has explicitly consented to the statement;

(b)

any other protection or security measure which may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

3.   A common form to be used for readmission applications is attached as Annex 5 to this Agreement.

Article 8

Means of evidence regarding nationality

1.   Proof of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 1 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. If such documents are presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall mutually recognise the nationality without further investigation being required. Proof of nationality cannot be furnished through false documents.

2.   Prima facie evidence of nationality pursuant to Articles 2(1) and 4(1) can, in particular, be provided through the documents listed in Annex 2 to this Agreement, even if their period of validity has expired. Prima facie evidence of nationality cannot be provided through false documents.

3.   Save in the case of availability of authentic documents as listed in Annex 1, the competent diplomatic representation of Sri Lanka or the Member State concerned may, whenever necessary and upon request, make arrangements to interview the person to be readmitted without undue delay in order to establish his or her nationality.

Article 9

Means of evidence regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons

1.   Proof of the conditions for the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 3 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Any such proof shall be mutually recognised by the Contracting Parties without any further investigation being required.

2.   Prima facie evidence of the conditions for readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons laid down in Articles 3(1) and 5(1) shall, in particular, be provided through the means of evidence listed in Annex 4 to this Agreement; it cannot be provided through false documents. Where such prima facie evidence is presented, the Member States and Sri Lanka shall deem the conditions to be established, unless they can prove otherwise. In doubtful cases the Contracting Parties will consult with a view to interviewing, without undue delay, the person to be readmitted.

3.   The unlawfulness of entry, presence or residence shall be established by means of the travel documents of the person concerned in which the necessary visa or other residence authorisation for the territory of the requesting State are missing. A statement by the requesting State that the person concerned has been found not to have the necessary travel documents, visa or residence authorisation shall likewise provide prima facie evidence of the unlawful entry, presence or residence.

Article 10

Time limits

1.   The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State’s competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit shall, upon request, be extended but only until the obstacles have ceased to exist.

2.   A readmission application must be replied to without undue delay, and normally within a period of 15 calendar days and not exceed 30 calendar days; reasons shall be given for refusal of a readmission request. This time limit begins to run with the date of receipt of the readmission request. If there was no acknowledgement of receipt within this time limit the transfer shall be deemed to have been agreed to.

3.   After agreement has been given or, where appropriate, if no acknowledgement was given within the 30 calendar-day time limit, the person concerned shall be transferred without undue delay and, at the most, within three months. Upon application, this time limit may be extended by the time taken to deal with legal or practical obstacles.

Article 11

Transfer modalities and modes of transportation

1.   Before returning a person, the competent authorities of Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall make arrangements in writing and in advance regarding the transfer date, the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer.

2.   No means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, shall be prohibited. Return by air shall not be restricted to the use of the national carriers of the Contracting Parties and may take place by using scheduled flights as well as charter flights. In the event of escorted returns, such escorts shall not be restricted to authorised persons of the requesting State, provided that they are authorised persons from Sri Lanka or any other Member State. Sri Lanka and the Member State concerned shall carry out prior mutual consultations on the modalities of charter flights.

SECTION IV

TRANSIT OPERATIONS

Article 12

Principles

1.   The Member States and Sri Lanka should restrict the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons to cases where such persons cannot be returned to the State of destination directly.

2.   Sri Lanka shall allow the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if a Member State so requests, and a Member State shall authorise the transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons if Sri Lanka so requests, only if the onward journey in other possible States of transit and the readmission by the State of destination is assured.

3.   Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State

(a)

if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination, or could be threatened by criminal prosecution on the territory of the requested State; or

(b)

on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

4.   Sri Lanka or a Member State may revoke any authorisation issued if circumstances referred to in paragraph 3 subsequently arise or come to light which stand in the way of the transit operation, or if the onward journey in possible States of transit or the readmission by the State of destination is no longer assured.

Article 13

Transit procedure

1.   An application for transit operations must be submitted to the competent authorities in writing and is to contain the following information:

(a)

type of transit (by air, land or sea), other possible States of transit and intended final destination;

(b)

the particulars of the person concerned (e.g. given name, surname, maiden name, nicknames or pseudonyms, date of birth, sex and, where possible, place of birth, nationality, language, type and number of travel document);

(c)

envisaged point of entry, time of transfer and possible use of escorts;

(d)

a declaration that from the viewpoint of the requesting State the conditions pursuant to Article 12(2) are met, and that no reasons for a refusal pursuant to Article 12(3) are known of.

A common form to be used for transit applications is attached as Annex 6 to this Agreement.

2.   The requested State shall, without undue delay and in writing, inform the requesting State of the admission, confirming the point of entry and the envisaged time of admission, or inform it of the admission refusal and of the reasons for such refusal.

3.   If the transit operation is effected by air, the person to be readmitted and possible escorts shall be exempt from having to obtain an airport transit visa.

4.   The competent authorities of the requested State shall, subject to mutual consultations, support the transit operations, in particular through the surveillance of the persons in question and the provision of suitable amenities for that purpose.

SECTION V

COSTS

Article 14

Transport and transit costs

Without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to recover the costs associated with the readmission from the person to be readmitted or third parties, all transport costs incurred in connection with readmission and transit operations pursuant to this Agreement as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

SECTION VI

DATA PROTECTION AND NON-AFFECTION CLAUSE

Article 15

Data protection

The communication of personal data shall only take place if such communication is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement by the competent authorities of Sri Lanka or a Member State as the case may be. The processing and treatment of personal data in a particular case shall be subject to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka and, where the controller is a competent authority of a Member State, to the provisions of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31) and of the national legislation of that Member State adopted pursuant to this Directive. Additionally the following principles shall apply:

(a)

personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

(b)

personal data must be collected for the specified, explicit and legitimate purpose of implementing this Agreement and not further processed by the communicating or by the recipient in a way incompatible with that purpose;

(c)

personal data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are collected and/or further processed; in particular, personal data communicated may concern only the following:

the particulars of the person to be transferred (e.g. given names, surnames, any previous names, nicknames or pseudonyms, sex, father’s and mother’s name, date and place of birth, current and any previous nationality, last place of residence, schools attended, civil status, names of spouse and children, if any, and names of other next of kin),

passport, identity card or driving licence (number, period of validity, date of issue, issuing authority, place of issue),

stopping places and itineraries,

other information needed to identify the person to be transferred or to examine the readmission requirements pursuant to this Agreement;

(d)

personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;

(e)

personal data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed;

(f)

both the communicating authority and the recipient shall take every reasonable step to ensure as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of personal data where the processing does not comply with the provisions of this article, in particular because that data are not adequate, relevant, accurate, or they are excessive in relation to the purpose of processing. This includes the notification of any rectification, erasure or blocking to the other Party;

(g)

upon request, the recipient shall inform the communicating authority of the use of the communicated data and of the results obtained therefrom;

(h)

personal data may only be communicated to the competent authorities. Further communication to other bodies requires the prior consent of the communicating authority;

(i)

the communicating and the receiving authorities are under the obligation to make a written record of the communication and receipt of personal data.

Article 16

Non-affection clause

1.   This Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from International Law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

2.   Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the return of a person under other formal or informal arrangements.

SECTION VII

IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION

Article 17

Joint Readmission Committee

1.   The Contracting Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in the application and interpretation of this Agreement. To this end, they shall set up a joint readmission committee (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee) which will, in particular, have the task:

(a)

to monitor the application of this Agreement;

(b)

to decide on implementing arrangements necessary for the uniform execution of it;

(c)

to have a regular exchange of information on the implementing Protocols drawn up by individual Member States and Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 18;

(d)

to decide on specific implementing arrangements aiming at an orderly management of return flows;

(e)

to decide on amendments to the Annexes to this Agreement;

(f)

to recommend amendments to this Agreement.

2.   The decisions of the Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties.

3.   The Joint Committee shall be composed by representatives of the Community and Sri Lanka; the Community shall be represented by the Commission of the European Communities, assisted by experts from Member States.

4.   The Joint Committee shall meet where necessary at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.

5.   The Joint Committee shall establish its rules of procedures.

Article 18

Implementing Protocols

1.   Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols which shall cover rules on:

(a)

the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;

(b)

the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;

(c)

means and documents additional to those listed in the Annexes 1 to 4 to this Agreement.

2.   The implementing Protocols referred to in paragraph 1 will enter into force only after the Joint Readmission Committee (Article 17) has been notified.

3.   Sri Lanka agrees to apply any provision of an implementing Protocol drawn up with one Member State also in its relations with any other Member State upon request of the latter.

Article 19

Relation to bilateral readmission agreements or arrangements of Member States

The provisions of this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any bilateral agreement or arrangement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation which have been or may, under Article 18, be concluded between individual Member States and Sri Lanka, in so far as the provisions of the latter are incompatible with those of this Agreement.

SECTION VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Territorial application

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, this Agreement shall apply to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable and to the territory of Sri Lanka.

2.   This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Article 21

Entry into force, duration and termination

1.   This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

2.   This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Contracting Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to in the first paragraph have been completed.

3.   This Agreement is concluded for an unlimited period.

4.   Each Contracting Party may denounce this Agreement by officially notifying the other Contracting Party. This Agreement shall cease to apply six months after the date of such notification.

Article 22

Annexes

Annexes 1 to 7 shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Done at Colombo on the fourth day of June in the year two thousand and four in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Sinhala and Tamil languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

For the European Community

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For the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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