PNR: UK implements EU Passenger Name Record Directive just in time for deadline


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PNR: UK implements EU Passenger Name Record Directive just in time for deadline
30.5.18
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The UK implemented the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive in time for the 25 May deadline - but only through a "breach of convention" by the Home Office in its transposition of the measures.

See: Explanatory memorandum to the Passenger Name Record Data and Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2018 (pdf):

"This instrument will transpose into national law those provisions of Directive (EU) 2016/681 on the use of passenger name record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (“the PNR Directive”) which are not already provided for in existing legislation.

(...)

This instrument will come into force within 21 days of it being laid before Parliament. The Department apologises for this breach of convention, which is a consequence of difficulties in sequencing with other legislative measures on which the instrument is dependent against the transposition deadline for the PNR Directive (25 May 2018). This instrument replaces a planned package of measures which, taken together, were to constitute transposition of the PNR Directive. One of those measures – a revised Code of Practice governing the use and exchange of PNR data – depended upon the Data Protection Bill currently before Parliament having received Royal Assent. Due to longer than anticipated Parliamentary consideration of the Bill, it would not be possible to complete the necessary formalities to bring such a Code of Practice into force to be able to notify the European Commission of the transposition of the PNR Directive by the deadline. To ensure that the deadline is met, this instrument will serve to transpose those requirements of the PNR Directive that are specific to the processing and exchange of PNR data; it will need to come into force no later than 25 May 2018."

And the UK implementing text: The Passenger Name Record Data and Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2018 (legislation.gov.uk, link)

The UK's last-ditch efforts mean it has complied with the requirements of the Directive, unlike many other Member States. As the EU's Commissioner for the Security Union, Julian King, put it:

"We recognise that a great deal of effort has been made by Member States to implement the new rules. Unfortunately, not all of them have completed this work. Whilst we will continue to offer support and guidance to Member States to implement the new rules, as we have done over the past two years, the Commission will not hesitate to use its powers under the Treaty to ensure that sufficient progress is made in due course."

See: Security Union: New rules on EU Passenger Name Record data (25 May 2018, pdf)

Background: Only three EU Member States have transposed the PNR Directive into national law - the deadline for the rest is 25 May 2018 (13 March 2018)

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