30-Apr-2010 9:36 AM

EU updates security rules to simplify procedures put in place after 9/11

European Union stated (29-Apr-2010) new measures to streamline and simplify the EU framework for aviation security, first put in place in 2002 after the September 11 terror attacks, came into force on 29-Apr-2010. Details include:

  • Aim: The revision aims to simplify and improve procedures to make it easier for industry on a daily basis to implement safety controls, without any reduction in security. For passengers, the package opens the door for the EU to negotiate "one-stop shop" security agreements with third countries, allowing for the possibility to reduce re-screening for transfer passengers. It also sets a clear deadline for the lifting of the current restrictions on the carriage of liquids in cabin baggage. New screening equipment for liquids must be used in all airports across Europe by Apr-2013. Overall, the package aims to improve the passenger experience, shorten transfer times at airports and reduce costs;
  • Regulation 300/2008: The new rules put in place a series of measures to improve, streamline and simplify existing procedures by:
    • Eliminating duplication of security controls: For example, reducing costly duplication of checks in strictly controlled areas of EU airports, where there has already been strict screening;
    • Simplifying procedures: For example, by establishing a single set of standards for the documents needed to get access at airports. The new rules clarify which kinds of identification and authorisations are necessary for access to different restricted areas; 
    • Harmonising procedures: For example, introducing EU-wide procedures for the recognition of hauliers transporting air cargo consignments. These can be recognised and used by hauliers in all Member States, reducing restrictions for hauliers and the need for costly re-screening of cargo;
    • Introducing common minimum standards as regards security training for all staff that implement security controls.
  • One-stop security: The new EU framework allows for the recognition of equivalence of security measures of third countries, which can open the door to the establishment of one-stop security arrangements between the EU and non-EU countries. One benefit of such a one-stop security system is that passengers arriving at EU airports and transferring to other destinations would no longer need to be re-screened, allowing for faster connection times, lower costs and greater convenience for travellers;
  • On liquid restrictions: By 29-Apr-2013 at the latest, all liquids will be allowed in cabin baggage and will be screened. By that date, the current restrictions on the carriage of liquids in cabin baggage will end. As a preliminary step in phasing out the restrictions on liquids, as from 29-Apr-2011 at the latest, duty free liquids purchased at third country airports or on board third country airlines and carried in tamper-evident bags will be allowed as cabin baggage and will be screened. [more]

European Union: "A lot has been learnt since the first EU-wide rules putting in place common aviation security standards were put in place after September 11. This is about building on the experience of recent years and streamlining procedures, so that on a daily basis security controls are easier for industry to implement. For passengers, the aim is also to simplify wherever possible the necessary security controls. In that sense this package takes a significant step forwards in signalling the beginning of the end for the current restrictions on liquids in cabin baggage, with a clear and final deadline of April 2013," Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President in charge of transport. Source: Company Statement, 29-Apr-2010.

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