Accept Refuse

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Civil aviation security: EU-wide rules

Civil aviation security: EU-wide rules

 

SUMMARY OF:

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

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

  • 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 other persons or businesses providing goods or services to or through these airports.
  • It replaces Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002 which was adopted in the wake of the 11 September 2001 events and which established common rules in the field of civil aviation security.

KEY POINTS

Common basic standards for protecting civil aviation

These standards include, for example:

  • screening of passengers and cabin baggage to stop prohibited articles, such as weapons and explosives, being carried on board aircraft;
  • the hold luggage (luggage that passengers check in) is also screened before 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 (i.e. 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 Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2015/1998. It lays down detailed measures for the implementation of these security standards and repealed a previous regulation (Regulation (EU) No 185/2010) which had been amended more than 20 times. Since its adoption, Regulation (EU) No 2015/1998 has itself been amended several times.

The amendments modify the list of non-EU countries recognised as applying equivalent standards to those of the EU, and introduce new rules regarding:

  • airport security;
  • aircraft security;
  • screening of liquids, aerosols and gels, hold baggage, cargo and mail, in-flight supplies;
  • staff recruitment and training;
  • security equipment;
  • background checks to enhance security culture and resilience;
  • performance standards;
  • the use of shoe explosive detection equipment and explosive vapour detection equipment.

Obligations on EU countries and on airports and operators

EU countries must:

  • designate a single authority responsible for aviation security;
  • set up a national civil aviation security programme to define responsibilities for implementing 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 carries out inspections in cooperation with national authorities including unannounced inspections of airports, air carriers and other relevant persons or businesses. Any shortcomings must be remedied by the national authority. National authorities are responsible for primary quality control and enforcement, and therefore must carry out audits and inspections of airports, air carriers and other relevant persons or businesses.

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 to allow 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 reports

Every year, the Commission publishes a report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 300/2008. The latest report, relating to 2017, was published in 2019.

FROM WHEN DOES THIS REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 28 April 2010.

The following articles have applied since 29 April 2008:

  • Articles 4(2), 4(3), 4(4), all of which relate to common basic standards except those relating to safeguarding civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference;
  • Article 8 on cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organisation;
  • Article 11(2): specifications for national quality control programmes;
  • Article 15(1) second subparagraph: unannounced inspections by the Commission;
  • Article 17: Stakeholders’ Advisory Group;
  • Article 19: Committee procedure; and
  • Article 21: penalties.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

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 into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

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.

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)

See consolidated version.

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.

Report

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — 2017 annual report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security (COM(2019) 183 final, 16.4.2019)

last update 10.07.2019

Top