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Exchange of information from criminal records

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Exchange of information from criminal records

This framework decision improves the exchanges of information between Member States on convictions entered in their criminal records.


Council Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA of 26 February 2009 on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record between Member States.


The objectives of this framework decision are to:

  • define how a convicting Member State is to transmit information on the conviction to the Member State of which the convicted person is a national;
  • define the obligations of the Member State of which the person is a national to store information on convictions and the procedures which that Member State is to follow when replying to requests for information about its nationals;
  • establish a framework for the development of a computerised system of exchange of information on convictions.

Member States are to designate a central authority to carry out the tasks relating to exchanges of information on convictions. For transmitting information and for replying to a request for information, Member States may designate more than one central authority.

Obligations of Member States

Along with information on the conviction, the convicting Member State has the obligation to provide information on the nationality(ies) of the person convicted on its territory in its criminal record.

The central authority of the convicting Member State is obliged to inform the central authorities of the Member State(s) of which the convicted person is national of any convictions of that person provided in its criminal record as soon as possible, including any subsequent alterations or deletions of this information. Such notification must include information on the convicted person, the nature and contents of the conviction, as well as the offence that gave rise to the conviction. The central authority is also to transmit optional information if entered in the criminal record and additional information if available, as listed in the framework decision.

The Member State of which the convicted person is a national has an obligation to store information transmitted to it, as well as to reply to requests for information on convictions within the given period of time. The convicting Member State may stipulate that the information it transmits to the Member State of the convicted person's nationality may not be retransmitted by the latter for any other purpose than for criminal proceedings.

Requesting information and replying to requests

When information from the criminal record of a Member State is requested, its central authority may in return request information from the criminal record of the central authority of another Member State. The same applies when a person requests information from his/her criminal record from a Member State, provided that s/he is a resident/national of one of the Member States concerned. All requests to central authorities must be made with the form annexed to the framework decision.

When the central authority of the Member State of which the person is a national is asked for information, it is to transmit information on convictions that were handed down on its territory, in other Member States or in third countries and that were either stored by it or entered in its criminal record. All replies to requests for information must be made with the form annexed to the framework decision and within 10 working days from receiving the request. In case the request was made by a person for information from his/her record, the reply must be sent within 20 working days from its receipt.

The requesting Member State may use personal data transmitted to it only for the purposes the data was requested for, unless it is used to prevent an immediate and serious threat to public security.

The Council should adopt further instruments setting up the format of exchanges of information extracted from criminal records and any other means for organising and facilitating such exchanges between Member States by 27 April 2012.

This framework decision repeals Decision 2005/876/JHA on the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA



OJ L 93 of 7.4.2009


Council Decision 2009/316/JHA of 6 April 2009 on the establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) in application of Article 11 of Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA [Official Journal L 93 of 7.4.2009]. This decision implements Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA in establishing the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). The system will enable an electronic interconnection of criminal records, where information on convictions is exchanged between Member States in a uniform and easily computer-transferable manner.

The objectives of this decision are to:

  • set up the general architecture for the electronic exchange of information extracted from criminal records. ECRIS is a decentralised information technology system based on the criminal record databases in Member States. It consists of an interconnection software that allows exchanges of information between the national databases and of a common communication infrastructure, which will initially be the Trans-European Services for Telematics between Administrations (S-TESTA) network;
  • create a standardised European format of transmission of information on convictions. In this respect it provides for two reference tables of categories of offences and categories of sanctions, which should facilitate the automatic translation and enable the mutual understanding of the information transmitted by using a system of codes. Member States are to refer to these tables when transmitting information on the offence giving rise to the conviction and information on the content of the conviction.

Last updated: 19.08.2009