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Civil aviation security: EU-wide rules

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Civil aviation security: EU-wide rules

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THIS REGULATION DO?

  • It lays down common rules and basic standards on aviation security and on procedures to monitor their implementation.
  • It applies to all civil airports in the EU, as well as to air carriers and entities providing goods or services to or through these airports.

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, such as weapons and explosives, being carried on board aircraft;
  • the hold luggage (luggage that passengers check in) is also subject to screening 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);
  • protection of aircraft and aircraft security checks or searches before departure to ensure that no prohibited articles are on board;
  • security controls for cargo and mail before being loaded on to aircraft;
  • security controls for 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;
  • security equipment performance (e.g. that equipment used for screening and access controls complies with defined specifications and is capable of performing the security controls concerned).

In November 2015, the European Commission adopted Regulation (EU) No 2015/1998 which lays down detailed measures for the implementation of these security standards. It repeals a previous regulation (Regulation (EU) No 185/2010) which had been amended more than 20 times.

Obligations on EU countries and on airports and operators

EU countries must:

  • 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.

Airports, air carriers and entities must:

  • define and implement a security programme;
  • ensure internal quality control.

Commission inspections

The Commission conducts inspections of national authorities including inspections of airports, air carriers and entities (unannounced). Any shortcomings must be remedied by the national authority. National authorities are responsible for primary quality control and enforcement and therefore have to conduct audits and inspections covering all airports, air carriers and entities.

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 means, 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 2014 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 in order to protect civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference’ and that inspections have shown a stable level of compliance. It points out that deficiencies identified were mostly due to human factors. It also noted that Commission recommendations for corrective action had been followed up satisfactorily.

FROM WHEN DOES THIS REGULATION APPLY?

It applies 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.

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 (OJ L 97, 9.4.2008, pp. 72-84).

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED ACTS

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

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 (OJ L 338, 19.12.2009, p. 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 (OJ L 91, 3.4.2009, pp. 7-13). See consolidated version.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1998 of 5 November 2015 laying down detailed measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security (OJ L 299, 14.11.2015, pp. 1-142). See consolidated version.

Report

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — 2014 annual report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security (COM(2015) 360 final of 23.7.2015).

last update 02.05.2016

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