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Airport transit arrangements

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1) OBJECTIVE

Satisfy, in a general manner, the objectives of security and control of illegal immigration, while contributing to harmonising the conditions of competition between Member State airlines and airports.

2) UNION MEASURE

Joint action 96/197/JAI, of 4 March 1996 adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union on airport transit arrangements.

3) CONTENTS

The joint action establishes an airport transit visa (ATV), i.e. the authorisation to which nationals of certain third countries are subject (at 1.8.1996: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Irak, Iran, Nigeria, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of the Congo (ex-Zaïre), as an exception to the principle of free transit laid down in Annex 9 to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, for transit through the international areas of the airports of Member States. The above-mentioned list may be revised by the Council by unanimous vote (Article 1).

The airport transit visa is issued by the consular services of the Member States and they must ascertain that there is no security risk or risk of illegal immigration (Article 2).

Besides, a Member State may provide for exceptions in particular for crew members of aircraft and ships, holders of diplomatic, official or service passports, holders of residence permits or visas issued by a Member State (Article 4).

Each Member State decides whether an airport transit visa should be required of nationals of countries not mentioned in point 1, as well as the arrangements applicable to statutory stateless persons and refugees. These measures must be communicated to the Secretary-General of the Council (Articles 5 and 6).

The joint action does not prevent greater harmonisation between certain Member States, in particular as regards airport transit arrangements, extending in scope beyond the joint list referred to in point 1 (Article 9).

4) DEADLINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LEGISLATION IN THE MEMBER STATES

5) DATE OF ENTRY INTO FORCE (if different from the above)

01.09.1995
01.09.1996 for Denmark, Finland and Sweden

6) REFERENCES

Official Journal L 63 of 13.03.1996

7) FOLLOW-UP WORK

8) IMPLEMENTING MEASURES

Last updated: 27.07.2005
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