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Civil aviation security: common rules

The European Union (EU), in order to protect the air transportation of persons and goods, has established common rules, applicable across the EU, to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference.

ACT

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 [See amending act(s)].

SUMMARY

The regulation establishes common rules in the European Union (EU) to protect civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference.

The regulation's provisions apply to all airports or parts of airports located in an EU country that are not used exclusively for military purposes. The provisions also apply to all operators, including air carriers, providing services at the aforementioned airports. It also applies to all entities located inside or outside airport premises providing services to airports.

Common basic standards

The common basic standards for protecting civil aviation cover:

  • airport security;
  • demarcated areas of airports;
  • aircraft security;
  • passengers and cabin baggage;
  • hold baggage;
  • cargo and mail;
  • air carrier mail and air carrier materials;
  • in-flight and airport supplies;
  • in-flight security measures;
  • staff recruitment and training;
  • security equipment.

The regulation includes a list of general measures that provide the criteria and conditions for the common basic standards, to be used to amend the non-essential elements of those standards. The regulation also lists detailed measures that provide the requirements and procedures for the implementation of the common basic standards.

In defining those measures, the Commission is assisted by a Committee of EU country representatives and is advised by a Stakeholders' Advisory Group of European representative organisations working in, or directly concerned by, aviation security.

Responsibilities of EU countries' appropriate authority and of operators and entities

EU countries must designate a single appropriate authority to be responsible for the implementation of the common basic standards.

Each EU country must devise and implement the following programmes:

  • national civil aviation security programme to define responsibilities for the implementation of the common basic standards; and
  • national quality control programme to monitor compliance with this regulation and with the country’s national civil aviation security programme.

Each operator and entity must devise and implement one of the following programmes:

  • airport security programme to set out the methods and procedures to be used by the airport operator to ensure compliance with this regulation and with the country’s national civil aviation security programme;
  • air carrier security programme to set out the methods and procedures to be used by the air carrier to ensure compliance with this regulation and with the country’s national civil aviation security programme; or
  • entity security programme to set out the methods and procedures to be used by the entity to ensure compliance with this regulation and with the country’s national civil aviation security programme.

In cooperation with the appropriate authority of the EU country concerned, the Commission conducts inspections to monitor the application of the common basic standards by EU countries. This includes inspections of EU countries appropriate authorities and unannounced inspections of airports, operators and entities. Where appropriate, the Commission will make recommendations to improve aviation security. The Commission inspection report is sent to the appropriate authority of the EU country concerned, who must then respond stating the measures taken to remedy any identified shortcomings.

EU countries are responsible for establishing rules on penalties for infringements of the provisions of the regulation and for ensuring the implementation of these penalties.

EU countries are allowed to apply more stringent measures than the common basic standards above, following a risk assessment and providing that those measures are relevant, objective, non-discriminatory, and proportional to the risk being addressed. EU countries must inform the Commission of these measures and the Commission will then communicate this information to the other EU countries.

Relations with non-EU countries

Aviation agreements between EU and non-EU countries could be concluded where it is recognised that the security standards applied in the non-EU country are equivalent to the EU’s common basic standards.

The regulation applies to the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and to Switzerland.

EU countries must inform the Commission when measures required by a non-EU country differ from the common basic standards with regard to flights from an airport in an EU country to, or over, that non-EU country.

Background

Following the events of 11 September 2001 in the United States, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002 that established common rules in the field of civil aviation security. However, Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002 needed to be updated in the light of the experience gained in the field of civil aviation security. Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security was therefore adopted as a simplification, harmonisation, and clarification of the existing rules on civil aviation security. It also repealed Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 300/2008

29.4.2008

-

OJ L 97 of 9.4.2008

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EU) No 18/2010

1.2.2010

-

OJ L 7 of 12.1.2010

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EU) No 185/2010 of 4 March 2010 laying down detailed measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security [Official Journal L 55 of 5.3.2010].

Commission Regulation (EU) No 72/2010 of 26 January 2010 laying down procedures for conducting Commission inspections in the field of aviation security [Official Journal L 23 of 27.1.2010].

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 [Official Journal L 338 of 19.12.2009].

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 [Official Journal L 91 of 3.4.2009].

Last updated: 27.07.2010
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