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Rapid border intervention teams (RABIT)

This Regulation sets up a system providing enhanced technical and operational assistance for a limited period, in the form of rapid-reaction intervention teams including guards from other Member States. The teams will intervene at the request of any Member State faced with urgent and exceptional situations resulting from a mass influx of illegal immigrants.


Regulation (EC) No 863/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 establishing a mechanism for the creation of Rapid Border Intervention Teams and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 as regards that mechanism and regulating the tasks and powers of guest officers.


After receiving a request from a Member State, the Executive Director of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (Frontex) takes the decision on the deployment of one or more rapid border intervention teams as soon as possible and no later than five working days from the date on which the request is received.

An operational plan is then drawn up by Frontex and the requesting Member State that sets out the details of the deployment of one or more teams.

The Executive Director appoints one or more experts from the staff of the Agency to be deployed as liaison officer(s) with the team:

  • to act as an interface between the Agency, on the one hand, and the host Member State and the members of the team, on the other;
  • to monitor the implementation of the operational plan;
  • to send to Frontex an assessment of the impact of the deployment.

For its part, the Member State concerned designates a contact point to liaise between its authorities and Frontex.

Frontex determines the composition of the teams, whose members come from the national reserve, and decides on their deployment. It organises training and exercises relevant for their tasks.

Status and powers of team members

Team members responsible for carrying out monitoring and surveillance activities at the external borders must comply with Community law and the national law of the host Member State. During the mission they are placed under the responsibility of the host Member State. They follow its instructions and take action in the presence of national border guards.

They remain officers of the national border guards of their Member States and, as such, are authorised to carry their service weapons and wear their own uniform. Nevertheless, a blue armband with the insignia of the European Union and Frontex must also be worn to identify them. They may consult the host Member State's databases and, where necessary, use force.

Where guest officers of teams are operating in a host Member State, the latter is liable for any damage they cause. During team deployment, guest officers are regarded as officials of the host Member State as regards offences committed against them or by them.


This Regulation is in response to a request contained in the conclusions of the European Council in The Hague, which called for the creation of teams of national experts that could provide rapid technical and operational assistance to Member States requesting it. The European Council, in the conclusions of its meeting in Brussels on 15 and 16 December 2005, invited the Commission to bring forward by the spring of 2006 a proposal for the creation of rapid-reaction teams in accordance with the Hague Programme. In response, the Commission presented on 19 July 2006 a draft text amending the Frontex Regulation so as to provide these teams with a legal basis.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 863/2007



OJ L 199, 31.7.2007

Last updated: 03.10.2007