01 July 2019
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EU Council Presidency proposes follow-up on extending PNR to sea and rail traffic
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The Finnish Council:Presidency has proposed following up on a previous report: Monitoring the implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/681 on use of passenger name record (PNR data - State of Play and Way Forward (LIMITE doc no: 6300-19, pdf).
A later Note from the Council Presidency: Widening the scope of PNR to other forms of transportation in addition to
air traffic- discussion paper (LIMITE doc no: 10597-19, pdf) suggests that:
"Traffic volumes from both within and outside the Schengen area are increasing. Increasing crossborder travelling entails cross-border crime such as migrant smuggling and irregular migration arrangements, which involves third-country nationals that are smuggled into the EU territories, or narcotic drugs smugglers, terrorists and other criminals. This poses a growing challenge to national law enforcement authorities in combating crime." [emphasis added throughout]
"The feedback for the questionnaire was mostly positive, although some Member States felt, that it would be too soon to make changes to the PNR Directive."
As a number of Member States are still implementing the PNR Directive covering air travel in and out of the EU and intra EU flights too.
The Presidency suggests that: "sea traffic and international high speed trains" should be the next priority:
"In Finland, the number of people travelling by sea traffic and air traffic are about the same; approximately 20 million travels are made with both transportation forms to and from Finland. Like air traffic, sea traffic can be used to facilitate illegal entry into the country, human trafficking and to transport for example illegal firearms and drugs."
"If the scope of the PNR Directive would be widened, an impact assessment about the other travelling forms would be necessary. Changing the scope of the PNR directive to include other
travelling forms would at least in the beginning cause costs for the transportation companies, but in the other hand it would simplify the process, when the companies would have to give the PNR information just once to one authority. Having common obligations and rules among EU Member States would help to clarify the obligations for traffic operators."
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