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Readmission agreement with Sri Lanka

A Member State of the European Union can ask Sri Lanka to readmit to its territory all nationals of that country and all third-country nationals who have transited via Sri Lanka who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State. The agreement is reciprocal. It also provides for the establishment of a Joint Readmission Committee to monitor the application of this Agreement.

ACT

Council Decision 2005/372/EC of 3 March 2005 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation.

Agreement between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation.

SUMMARY

The Agreement between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation and is annexed to and approved by the Decision.

The Agreement meets the need to establish, on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and safe and orderly return of persons who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, presence in, or residence on the territories of Sri Lanka or one of the Member States of the European Union, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation.

Readmission obligations by Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka must readmit, upon application by a Member State:

  • all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State provided that it is proved that they are nationals of Sri Lanka;
  • all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of the requesting Member State.

The latter case applies where it is proved that the person:

  • at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by Sri Lanka; or
  • entered the territory of the Member States unlawfully coming directly from the territory of Sri Lanka by air or ship without having entered another country in-between.

The readmission obligation does not apply if:

  • the third country national or stateless person has only been in airside transit via Colombo international airport; or
  • the requesting Member State has issued to the third country national or stateless person a visa or residence authorisation before or after entering its territory;
  • (in the latter case) unless that person is in possession of a visa or residence permit, issued by Sri Lanka, which has a longer period of validity.

At the request of a Member State, Sri Lanka must issue the person to be readmitted with the travel document required for his or her return that is of a period of validity of at least six months.

Readmission obligations by the Community

A Member State shall readmit, upon application by Sri Lanka, all persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved that they are nationals of that Member State. It must also readmit all third-country nationals or stateless persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry to, presence in, or residence on, the territory of Sri Lanka provided that it is proved that such persons:

  • at the time of entry held a valid visa or residence authorisation issued by the requested Member State; or
  • entered the territory of Sri Lanka unlawfully coming directly from the territory of the requested Member State.

If two or more Member States issued a visa or residence authorisation, the readmission obligation is for the Member State that issued the document with a longer period of validity or, if one or several of them have already expired, the document that is still valid. If all of the documents have already expired, the readmission obligation is for the Member State that issued the document with the most recent expiry date.

Readmission procedure

Any transfer of a person requires the submission of a readmission application to the competent authority of the requested State. The readmission application is to contain the particulars of the person to be readmitted, and an indication of the means with which proof or prima facie evidence of nationality, transit and unlawful entry and residence will be provided.

Where possible, the readmission application should also contain a statement indicating that the person to be transferred may need help or care and any other protection or security measure that may be necessary in the individual transfer case.

The application for readmission must be submitted to the competent authority of the requested State within a maximum of one year after the requesting State's competent authority has gained knowledge that a third-country national or a stateless person does not, or does no longer, fulfil the conditions in force for entry, presence or residence. Where there are legal or factual obstacles to the application being submitted in time, the time limit may be extended.

A readmission application must be replied to within no more than 15 calendar days. Reasons must be given for refusal of a readmission request.

Before a person is returned, arrangements must be made in writing and in advance regarding the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer. All means of transport, whether by air, land or sea, are possible.

Transit operations

The transit of third-country nationals or stateless persons is confined to cases where such persons cannot be returned direct to the State of destination.

Transit can be refused by Sri Lanka or a Member State:

  • if the third-country national or the stateless person runs the risk of persecution, or could be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions in another State of transit or in the State of destination; or
  • on grounds of public health, domestic security, public order or other national interests of the requested State.

The Agreement is without prejudice to the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Community, the Member States and Sri Lanka arising from international law and, in particular, from any applicable International Convention or agreement to which they are Parties.

The Agreement provides for the establishment of a joint readmission committee to assist with its application and interpretation. Sri Lanka and a Member State may draw up implementing Protocols to cover rules on:

  • the designation of the competent authorities, the border crossing points and the exchange of contact points;
  • the conditions for escorted returns, including the transit of third-country nationals and stateless persons under escort;
  • means and documents additional to those listed in Annexes 1 to 4 to the Agreement.

The Agreement applies to the territory in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable (excepting the Kingdom of Denmark) and Sri Lanka.

The Agreement is to be ratified or approved by the Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective procedures.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision 2005/372/EC01.05.2005-OJ L 124, 17.05.2005
 
Last updated: 27.09.2005
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