Tag Archives: Border controls

European Agency for the Management of External Borders – Frontex

European Agency for the Management of External Borders – Frontex

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Agency for the Management of External Borders – Frontex

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Fight against terrorism

European Agency for the Management of External Borders – Frontex

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 of 26 October 2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) is set up in response to the need to improve the integrated management of the external borders of the European Union (EU).

Although responsibility for the control and surveillance of external borders lies with Member States, the agency will facilitate the application of existing and future EU measures relating to the management of these borders.

In this context, “external borders” means Member States’ land and sea borders, airports and seaports to which the provisions of EU law on the crossing of external borders by persons apply.

Tasks of the agency

The main tasks of the agency are to:

  • coordinate operational cooperation between Member States as regards the management of external borders;
  • develop a common integrated risk assessment model and prepare general and specific risk assessments;
  • help Member States train their national border guards by developing common training standards, providing training at European level for instructors of national border guards, holding seminars and offering additional training to officials of the competent authorities;
  • monitor research relevant to the control and surveillance of external borders;
  • assist Member States in circumstances requiring increased technical and operational assistance at external borders;
  • provide Member States with the necessary support in organising joint return operations. The agency may use the Union resources available for this purpose and must draw up an inventory of best practice for the removal of third-country nationals residing illegally in Member States;
  • deploy Rapid Border Intervention Teams to Member States under urgent and exceptional pressure due to, for example, a massive influx of illegal immigrants.

Without prejudice to the competencies of the agency, Member States may continue cooperation at an operational level with other Member States and/or third countries where such cooperation complements the action of the agency. Member States must report to the agency on such activities where they are conducted outside the framework of the agency.

Structure and organisation of the agency

The agency is an EU body with legal personality. It is independent in relation to technical matters and is managed and represented by its executive director. The executive director, who is independent in the performance of his/her duties, is appointed for five years by the management board on the grounds of merit, documented administrative and management skills, and relevant experience in the field of management of external borders. He/she is assisted by a deputy executive director.

The management board also adopts the agency’s general report, work programme and staffing policy and establishes the agency’s organisational structure. It is composed of one representative from each Member State and two Commission representatives. Each Member State also appoints an alternate, while the Commission appoints two alternates. The term of office of management board members is four years, renewable once.

Countries associated with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis participate in the agency and appoint each a representative and an alternate to the management board.

With regard to communication, the agency is responsible for publishing its general report, as well as for providing the public and any interested party with objective, reliable and easily understandable information on its work.

The agency is funded by an EU grant, a contribution from the associated countries, fees for services provided and voluntary contributions from Member States. The financial rules applicable to the agency are adopted by the management board after consulting the Commission.

The management board commissions an independent external evaluation of the implementation of this regulation within three years from the date the agency takes up its responsibilities and will commission a similar evaluation every five years thereafter. It will issue recommendations based on the findings of these evaluations.

The agency takes up its responsibilities on 1 May 2005.

Background

The aim of EU policy in the field of external borders is to set up integrated management ensuring a high and uniform level of checks on persons and surveillance as a prerequisite for the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice. In its communication of 7 May 2002 entitled “Towards integrated management of the external borders of the Member States of the European Union”, the Commission advocated the setting-up of an “external borders practitioners’ common unit” tasked with managing operational cooperation at Member States’ external borders.

The plan for the management of the external borders of Member States, agreed by the Council on 13 June 2002, endorsed the setting-up of the external borders practitioners’ common unit as a means of establishing integrated management of the external borders. However, this unit has demonstrated structural limitations as regards coordination of operational cooperation.

This regulation is in response to the request made by the Thessaloniki European Council in its conclusions of 16 and 17 October 2003. It builds on the experiences gained from cooperation between Member States within the common unit, over which the agency takes responsibility for coordinating operational cooperation.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004

26.11.2004

OJ L 349 of 25.11.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 863/2007

20.8.2007

OJ L 199 of 31.7.2007

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 13 February 2008 – Report on the evaluation and future development of the FRONTEX Agency [COM(2008) 67 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In response to the Hague European Council, the Commission submitted a political evaluation of the agency. Its short-term recommendations include exploiting to the full the database of national technical equipment, merging joint operations with the European Patrols Network (EPN), acquiring equipment for Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABIT) and having Frontex manage the ICONet and take over the activities of the Centre for Information, Discussion and Exchange on the Crossing of Frontiers and Immigration (CIREFI).
The Commission also makes long-term recommendations for Frontex’s involvement in the:

  • mechanism of Schengen evaluations of Member States’ external borders;
  • European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR);
  • acquisition of equipment and recruitment for the creation of a European Corps of Border Guards.

Council Decision 2005/358/EC of 26 April 2005 designating the seat of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union [Official Journal L 114 of 4.5.2005].
This decision establishes the seat of the agency at Warsaw, Poland.

Arrangements

Council Decision 2010/490/EU of 26 July 2010 on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Arrangement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein, of the other part, on the modalities of the participation by those States in the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union [Official Journal L 243 of 16.9.2010].

Council Decision 2007/511/EC of 15 February 2007 on the conclusion, on behalf of the Community, of an Arrangement between the European Community and the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway on the modalities of the participation by those States in the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union [Official Journal L 188 of 20.7.2007].
The objective of the arrangement is to involve Norway and Iceland in Frontex. Under the regulation establishing the agency, countries associated with the development of the Schengen acquis participate in the agency. The arrangement is intended to set out the details of the participation of Norway and Iceland (the voting rights of their representatives on the Frontex management board, their financial contribution, data protection and recognition of the legal status of Frontex in Icelandic and Norwegian law).

1982 International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods

1982 International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about 1982 International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Customs

1982 International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EEC) No 1262/84 of 10 April 1984 concerning the conclusion of the International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods [Official Journal L 126 of 12.5.1984].

Summary

The EC is a party to the International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods signed in Geneva on 21 October 1982 in the framework of the United Nations. The Convention is intended to streamline administrative procedures and remove cross-border technical barriers.

It applies to all goods being imported or exported or in transit, when they are moved across one or more maritime, air or inland frontiers.

The Convention is part of the external trade policy, which is an area of exclusive Community competence.

Parties to the Convention are committed to streamlining administrative procedures at borders and reducing the number and duration of controls carried out by customs authorities. This commitment should be reflected in:

  • cooperation and coordination between customs and other services for monitoring goods;
  • the provision of qualified personnel with the necessary equipment at the place where the controls are to take place; official instructions to officers for acting in accordance with international agreements;
  • cooperation with the competent international bodies, in order to facilitate new multilateral or bilateral agreements;
  • arrangements for the joint control of goods and documents by neighbouring countries that share a border; opening hours of frontier posts, categories of goods, modes of transport and international customs transit procedures should correspond;
  • the exchange of information required for controls to be effective;
  • documents aligned on the United Nations Layout Key.

Goods in transit are to receive simple and speedy treatment when they are transported in conditions that provide adequate security. Controls may however be carried out if there is a threat to public safety.

Customs clearance for goods covered an international customs transit procedure is to be facilitated by an extension of the hours and the competence of existing customs posts.

Goods are subject to customs controls as described in Annex 1. These controls are to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations in force at borders. Other types of controls may also be carried out, also at points within the country.

Customs services are in charge of organising cooperation and coordination with other goods control services so as to expedite the passage of goods.

Instructions regarding these controls are to be found in the annexes below. They comprise:

  • medico-sanitary inspections carried out for the protection of the life and health of persons (Annex II);
  • veterinary inspections, applied to animals or animal products and their conditions of transport (Annex III);
  • phytosanitary inspections intended to prevent the spread and the introduction across national boundaries of pests of plants and plant products (Annex IV);
  • control of compliance of goods with national and international laws and regulations (Annex V);
  • quality control of goods to ensure that they correspond to the minimum international or national definitions of quality (Annex VI);
  • rules of procedure of the administrative committee for the Harmonisation Convention concerning the amendment procedure for the Convention (Annex VII).

Prohibitions or restrictions relating to importation, exportation, or transit remain applicable when they are imposed for reasons of public safety*. Emergency measures may also be introduced if necessary.

The Convention does not preclude the right of regional economic integration organisations to apply their own legislation at their internal frontiers. It enables preferences and financial facilities to be maintained, on condition that they do not reduce in any way the facilities deriving from this convention.

Disputes between the parties are to be settled by negotiation or by voluntary recourse to arbitration.

Key terms used in the act

  • Public safety: Defending public safety implies defending the safety and security of the public, morality, health, the environment, cultural heritage and industrial, commercial and intellectual property.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EEC) No 1262/84 1.6.1984 OJ L 126 of 12.5.1984

Related Acts

AMENDMENTS TO THE ANNEXES

Annex 8 – Facilitating border crossing procedures for international road transport:


Council Decision 2009/161/EC of 25 September 2008 Approving on behalf of the Community Annex 8 to the International Convention on the Harmonisation of Frontier Controls of Goods.

The new Annex 8 to the International Convention on the Harmonisation of Frontier Controls of Goods entered into force on 20 May 2008.

The new measures aim at simplifying and coordinating administrative procedures dealing with the following aspects:

  • the granting of visas for professional drivers, by facilitating procedures and the exchange of information between professionals;
  • international transport operations, by speeding up border crossing procedures for goods, particularly for urgent consignments, such as live animals and perishable goods;
  • the technical control of road vehicles, by accepting the International Technical Inspection Certificate and the identification of ATP vehicles carrying perishable goods;
  • the acceptance of the International Vehicle Weight Certificate, aiming at avoiding repetitive weighing procedures at border crossings, apart from random checks or in the case of supposed irregularities. Weight measurement shall take place in the country of origin of international transport operations;
  • efficient border crossing points with suitable infrastructures.

The effective implementation of the Annex by the Contracting Parties will be monitored by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe who will produce a report every second year.

COMMUNITY LAW

Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on official controls to be performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules [Official Journal L 165 of 30.04.2004].

Corrigendum to the Regulation [Official Journal L 191 of 28.05.2004].

The Regulation is intended to organise the official controls performed on animal feed and food in the framework of Community legislation.

INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LAW

EEC/UN ATP Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs and on the Special Equipment to be used for such Carriage (entry into force on 1 September 1970, amended on 7 November 2003).

International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods (entry into force 12 May 1984).