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FADO image-archiving system

The aim of this Joint Action is to set up a computerised image-archiving system in the Member States to help combat illegal immigration and organised crime.


Joint Action 98/700/JHA of 3 December 1998 adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union concerning the setting up of a European Image-Archiving System (FADO).


A European image-archiving system is being set up for the purpose of exchanging by computerised means and within very short periods of time information which the Member States possess concerning genuine and false documents that have been recorded. The system does not replace or eliminate ordinary exchanges on paper until all the Member States are in a position to use the computerised system (Article 1).

The system's database will contain among other things (Article 2):

  • images of false and forged documents;
  • images of genuine documents;
  • summary information on forgery techniques;
  • summary information on security techniques.

The setting up of the European system does not prevent each Member State from developing and using its own national system to meet the requirements of national border authorities and authorities responsible for verifying documents (Article 3).


The proliferation of genuine and false documents means that frequent updating is essential. Ever more sophisticated techniques are being used to produce both genuine documents and forgeries; the European Fraud Bulletin and the Handbook of Genuine Documents can no longer keep up with the speed and exactness of modern reproduction techniques. A computer image-archiving system is therefore needed to meet the Member States' requirements in relation to document fraud.


Entry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Joint Action 98/700/JHA10.12.1998_OJ L 333 of 9.12.1998
Last updated: 27.07.2007
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