Norway implements improved inspection of travellers

boardingBoard the plane.Photo. Norway Today Media

Next time you travel into or out of the Schengen area, you will be checked against police databases.

The new control regime came into force in the EU Friday. Norway formally joins in a few days, while the actual measures will be implemented sometime later this year.

The main rule is that everyone is to be checked when they travel into or out of the Schengen area. Such control is already introduced for people from countries outside the Schengen area, but now is extended to apply to Norwegians and citizens from the 25 other countries of the Schengen area.

To be checked against several databases:

* The SIS database which records information on missing and persons who are to be refused entry.

* Interpol database of lost and stolen passports.

* National databases for lost, counterfeit or stolen passports.

* Other national and international databases with information about dangerous people.

Intended to stop foreign fighters

Verification is primarily performed by border police who investigate passports to ensure that they are genuine, and that the identity of the traveller is verifiable. If in doubt, they can proceed to check against the said databases.

The main objective is to put in place a control regime that makes it easier to detect foreign fighters and other people intending to carry out terrorist attacks.

– The terrorist attacks in Paris, Nice and Brussels was largely executed by individuals from European Union countries. This has unfortunately made it necessary to sharpen the person control of the Schengen external borders to include people from EU and EEA countries, Thor Kleppen Sættem of the Ministry of Justice stated.

– This concerns our collective security, he said.

The measures came as a direct result of the terror attack in Paris in November of 2015.

Allows for exceptions

Negotiations between the member countries of Schengen has nonetheless led to some weakening in the agreement, Norway and other countries has expressed fear of passport controls which can be expensive to operate and would be characterized by even longer queues.

The control applies to airports, seaports and other border crossings, but still only apply when traveling to or from the Schengen area.

In cases where control will be a disproportionate influence on passenger flow, it will be allowed to perform spot checks instead. This must in such cases be adjusted according to threat assessments for a limited period of time.

The Police Directorate has been asked to asses whether exceptions should be made at some border crossings in Norway during the transitional period.

 

Source: nrk.no / Norway Today

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