Brussels, 16 January 2004
Air security: Commission draws up EU-wide list of prohibited articles on passenger aircraft
The Commission has adopted a Regulation that, for the first time, sets out an agreed EU-wide list of items that are not allowed to be taken on aircraft by passengers. The primary purpose of the legislation is to give clear and unambiguous information to passengers flying from EU airports as to which objects will be confiscated at airport security checkpoints. "This is another step in the Commission policy of seeking high standards in the field of civil aviation security through the setting of harmonised rules," said Vice President de Palacio.
The Commission has adopted a Regulation laying down a list of articles that are clearly prohibited from being carried by passengers onto all flights from European Union airports. The new legislation also requires national authorities to inform passengers of the content of this list before the check-in procedure is completed. The list could, for example, be published within the check-in area of an airport to allow passengers to dispose of the listed objects, for example by placing them in hold luggage rather than simply having objects confiscated at an airport security checkpoint.
The list of prohibited articles is not exhaustive since it is always possible to devise new potentially dangerous types of weapon. If, however, an appropriate authority wishes to prohibit an object not contained on the EU list, it should duly inform the passenger accordingly before the check-in procedure. Law-enforcement authorities will of course still be entitled to confiscate any unlisted articles that, based on an individual on-the-spot local risk assessment, are deemed potentially dangerous.
Nonetheless, for most objects and most passengers the existence of this new Commission Regulation should ensure a more transparent and thus more comprehensible system than is currently practised.
The Commission also decided on a similar, but shorter, list of those articles that are banned from being transported in the hold of an aircraft (i.e. in the checked luggage of passengers). Common rules are also set to cover the use of otherwise prohibited articles by staff in security restricted areas. This includes the use of tools for maintenance and repair purposes.
The Commission will update this list in a speedy manner with the help of a Committee(1) with representatives of Member States.
Passengers are not permitted to carry the following articles into the security restricted area and the cabin of an aircraft:
a) Guns, Firearms & Weapons
Any object capable, or appearing capable, of discharging a projectile or causing injury, including:
any blunt instrument capable of causing injury, including:
any explosive or highly combustible substances which poses a risk to the health of passengers and crew or the security / safety of aircraft or property, including:
any chemical or toxic substances which poses a risk to the health of passengers and crew or the security / safety of aircraft or property, including:
The following articles shall not be placed in hold baggage: