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Civil aviation security: EU-wide rules

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Civil aviation security: EU-wide rules

Since 2001, the European Union (EU) has developed policy and rules to prevent acts of unlawful interference that compromise security, notably by keeping items that pose a potential threat, such as weapons or explosives, away from aircraft.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002.

SUMMARY

Since 2001, the European Union (EU) has developed policy and rules to prevent acts of unlawful interference that compromise security, notably by keeping items that pose a potential threat, such as weapons or explosives, away from aircraft.

The regulation applies to all commercial airports, air carriers and operators providing goods or services to or through airports.

WHAT DOES THIS REGULATION DO?

It lays down common rules and basic standards on aviation security and procedures to monitor the implementation of the common rules and standards.

KEY POINTS

Common basic standards for protecting civil aviation

Examples of aspects covered by these standards include:

screening of passengers and cabin baggage so as to stop prohibited articles being carried on board aircraft; the hold luggage (luggage that passengers check in) is also subject to checks prior to loading;

airport security (e.g. controlled access to different areas of airports, staff screening and checking of vehicles, as well as surveillance and patrols to prevent unauthorised people from entering these areas);

aircraft security checks or searches before departure to ensure that no prohibited articles are on board;

screening of cargo and mail before being loaded on to aircraft;

screening of airport supplies (i.e. supplies intended to be sold in duty-free shops and restaurants) and in-flight supplies (e.g. food and drink for passengers);

staff recruitment and training.

Obligations on EU countries and on airports and operators

EU countries must ensure that they:

designate a single authority competent for aviation security;

set up a national civil aviation security programme to define responsibilities for the implementation of the common basic standards;

set up a national quality control programme to check the quality of civil aviation security.

Operators must:

define and implement an airport security programme;

define and implement an air carrier’s security programme.

Commission inspections

The Commission conducts inspections of airports (unannounced) and national authorities. Any shortcomings must be remedied by the national authority. National authorities are responsible for primary quality control and enforcement and therefore also conduct inspections.

Recognition of equivalent aviation security standards with non-EU countries

The EU may recognise non-EU countries' aviation security standards as equivalent to EU standards in order to permit a ‘one stop security’ system. This would mean, for example, that passengers arriving at EU airports and transferring to other destinations would no longer need to be re-screened. This would result in faster connection times, lower costs and greater convenience for travellers. ‘One stop security’ is one of the objectives of EU aviation security legislation.

Implementation report

The 2013 Commission report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 concludes that ‘a high level of security continues to be ensured in the EU’ and that ‘Commission inspections have shown a stable level of compliance with core regulatory provisions’. It points out that non-compliance in areas such as staff and cargo screening were due to human factors. Further non-compliance was recently detected in areas like high-risk cargo and mail. It also noted that Commission recommendations for corrective action had overall been followed up satisfactorily.

WHEN DOES THIS REGULATION APPLY?

From 29 April 2008

BACKGROUND

Following the events of 11 September 2001 in the United States, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002, which established common rules in the field of civil aviation security. Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 replaces Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002.

For further information, see the European Commission’s aviation security policy website.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 300/2008

29.4.2008

-

OJ L 97 of 9.4.2008, pp. 72-84.

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Commission Regulation (EU) No 18/2010

1.2.2010

-

OJ L 7 of 12.1.2010, pp. 3-14.

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EU) No 185/2010 of 4 March 2010 laying down detailed measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security (Official Journal L 55 of 5.3.2010, pp. 1-55).

Commission Regulation (EU) No 72/2010 of 26 January 2010 laying down procedures for conducting Commission inspections in the field of aviation security (Official Journal L 23 of 27.1.2010, pp. 1-5).

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1254/2009 of 18 December 2009 setting criteria to allow Member States to derogate from the common basic standards on civil aviation security and to adopt alternative security measures (Official Journal L 338 of 19.12.2009, pp. 17-17).

Commission Regulation (EC) No 272/2009 of 2 April 2009 supplementing the common basic standards on civil aviation security laid down in the Annex to Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Official Journal L 91 of 3.4.2009, pp. 7-13).

Reports

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: 2012 Annual Report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security (COM(2013) 523 final of 9.7.2013).

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: 2013 Annual Report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No300/2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security (COM(2014) 399 final of 1.7.2014).

Last updated: 09.01.2015

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