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Combating Document Fraud: the False and Authentic Documents Online System

Combating Document Fraud: the False and Authentic Documents Online System

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EU) 2020/493 on the false and authentic documents online (FADO) system

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

  • It repeals Council Joint Action 98/700/JHA (see summary) which originally established the European image archiving system on false and authentic documents online (FADO).
  • It sets out a new legal basis for the FADO system, updating its management system by adapting it to the new institutional base set out in Article 87(2)(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

KEY POINTS

The false and authentic documents online system

  • The FADO system contains information on authentic documents issued by EU countries, the EU and third parties (such as non-EU countries, territorial entities, international organisations and other entities subject to international law) and on false versions of those documents.
  • It aims to contribute to the fight against document and identity fraud by:
    • sharing information on the security features of, and potential fraud characteristics in, authentic and false documents between the EU countries’ authorities competent in the area of document fraud;
    • sharing information with other actors, including the general public.

Scope

  • The FADO system contains information on documents issued by EU countries or the EU. Documents include:
    • travel, identity, residence and civil status documents;
    • driving licences and vehicle licences.
  • It may also contain information on:
    • equivalent documents issued by third parties;
    • other related official documents, in particular those used in support of applications for official documents, issued by EU countries and, where applicable, third parties.
  • The information to be included in the system includes:
    • information, including images, on authentic documents, specimens of those documents and their security features;
    • information, including images, on false documents, whether forged, counterfeit or pseudo documents, and their fraud characteristics;
    • summaries of forgery techniques;
    • summaries of the security features of authentic documents;
    • statistics on detected false documents.
  • The system may also contain handbooks, contact lists, information on valid travel documents and their recognition by EU countries, recommendations on effective ways of detecting specific methods of falsification and other useful related information.
  • The EU countries, the EU and third parties must submit this information to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) set up by Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 — see summary. Technical support for Frontex can be provided by eu-LISA, which was set up by Regulation (EU) 2018/1726 — see summary.

Access

The FADO system provides users with different levels of access to information:

  • The European Commission and Frontex, to the extent necessary for the performance of their tasks, and relevant national authorities, such as police, border guard and other law enforcement authorities, have secure access to the FADO system on a need-to-know basis.
  • The general public has access to specimens of authentic documents or authentic documents with pseudonymous data.
  • Other actors can gain access to information stored in the FADO system in a limited manner:
    • other EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, including Europol, which was set up by Regulation (EU) 2016/794 — see summary;
    • third parties, such as non-EU countries, territorial entities, international organisations and other entities subject to international law;
    • private entities, such as airlines and other carriers.
  • Personal data is protected by Regulation (EU) 2016/679 — see summary:
    • use of data by police and judicial authorities is specifically protected by Directive (EU) 2016/680 — see summary.
    • Frontex must apply the rules set out in Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 — see summary.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 26 April 2020.

BACKGROUND

The regulation builds upon the Schengen acquis which, on the basis of protocols attached to the Lisbon Treaty, certain EU countries can opt in or out of.

  • Denmark did not take part in the adoption of the regulation and is therefore not bound by it nor subject to its application. It can however decide to opt in within a period of 6 months after the regulation takes effect.
  • Ireland, a non-member of the Schengen-zone, has chosen to take part.
  • The agreement applies additionally to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EU) 2020/493 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 March 2020 on the false and authentic documents online (FADO) system and repealing Council Joint Action 98/700/JHA (OJ L 107, 6.4.2020, pp. 1-8)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624 (OJ L 295, 14.11.2019, pp. 1-131)

Regulation (EU) 2018/1726 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 November 2018 on the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA), and amending Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006 and Council Decision 2007/533/JHA and repealing Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 (OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, pp. 99-137)

See consolidated version.

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Part Three — Union policies and internal actions — Title V — Area of freedom, security and justice — Chapter 5 — Police cooperation — Article 87 (ex Article 30 TEU) (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, pp. 83-84)

Regulation (EU) 2016/794 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and replacing and repealing Council Decisions 2009/371/JHA, 2009/934/JHA, 2009/935/JHA, 2009/936/JHA and 2009/968/JHA (OJ L 135, 24.5.2016, pp. 53-114)

Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, pp. 1-88)

See consolidated version.

Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Council Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, pp. 89-131)

See consolidated version.

last update 22.10.2020

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