This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Financial penalties on passenger carriers
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?
This directive aims to combat illegal immigration by harmonising the financial penalties imposed by European Union (EU) countries on passenger carriers for transporting non-EU nationals who are not properly documented.
It supplements Article 26 of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement which requires the carrier to assume responsibility for non-EU nationals it brings to the external border by air, sea or land. In line with Article 26 of the Convention, the carrier must take all the necessary measures to ensure that non-EU nationals carried by air or sea, and groups transported overland by coach, have the travel documents required for entry into the Schengen countries.
In line with the directive, a carrier that cannot carry out the return of a non-EU national is responsible for finding the means for his or her onward transportation. If this transportation cannot be carried out immediately, the carrier must assume responsibility for the costs of the stay and return of the non-EU national.
The directive also requires EU countries to impose dissuasive, effective and proportionate financial penalties against carriers in breach of their obligations to ensure that persons travelling to the Schengen area have the documents required for entry. The directive sets out:
These financial penalties do not apply to cases where the non-EU national is seeking international protection.
EU countries may in addition adopt different types of penalties, such as seizure of the vehicle or withdrawal of the operating licence.
Carriers against whom proceedings have been brought for failure to fulfil their obligations have the right to defence and appeal.
FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?
It has applied since 9 August 2001.
Council Directive 2001/51/EC of 28 June 2001 supplementing the provisions of Article 26 of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 (OJ L 187, 10.7.2001, pp. 45-46)
Council Directive 2004/82/EC of 29 April 2004 on the obligation of carriers to communicate passenger data (OJ L 261, 6.8.2004, pp. 24-27)
last update 23.04.2020