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EU asks Russia to forbid transfer of air passengers’ personal data

July 19, 2013, 16:46 UTC+3

This creates a legal conflict for European air carriers and can’t be fulfilled without a bilateral agreement between Russia and the EU

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MOSCOW, July 19. /ITAR-TASS /. The EU has asked Russia to introduce a continuous moratorium on Ministry of Transport’s order on transferring of personal data of passengers flying to Russia and over the territory of Russia. The document affects the interests of more than 19 million passengers of international airlines.

The requirement of Russian authorities to transfer personal data of air passengers creates a legal conflict for European air carriers and can’t be fulfilled without a bilateral agreement between Russia and the European Union, according to EU Delegation to Russia spokesman Soren Liborius.

In the EU, there is a law in vigor on protection of personal data. The information about air passengers is accessible only for the United States upon a bilateral agreement, ratified by the EU in spring 2012. “The signing of the agreement was preceded by many years of work, initiated by U.S. authorities after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001” noted the representative the diplomatic service.

“Even if the commencement of the Russian Ministry of Transport’s order is shifted to December 1, 2013, the EU and Russia will not have time to prepare and ratify a similar agreement, and as a result European air carriers will be forced to choose either to violate European or Russian law” stressed the spokesperson of the EU office, adding that the negotiations between the EU and Russia on the transfer of personal data of air passengers have not yet started.

"The EU has asked Russia to introduce an indefinite moratorium on the order of the Ministry of Transport to ensure that we have adequate time for negotiations, ratification and entry into force of the agreement on data protection” the diplomatic source said.

The Transport Ministry of Russia registered the order on the submission procedure of personal data of passengers in September 2012. The order went into effect July 1, 2013. On June 27, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency /FAVT/ issued a notice on the requirements to submission of passenger data through the website of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise ‘Centre of Aeronautical Information’ /FSUE ‘CAI’/. But on July 1, the Transport Ministry has shifted the commencement of the order to December 1, 2013 “in view of the need of additional time for foreign and Russian carriers to prepare for the transfer of passenger data in a centralized database.”

As personal data of passengers in the order are listed surname, first name, date and place of birth, proof of identity and parameters of the trip. Carrier / and airport / must transmit information in a clock with a delay not exceeding 30 minutes after entering the data into the reservation system, as well as the registration and boarding of passengers on board and departure flight. The information on crewmembers is transferred to the database 15 minutes before departure. The complete information about luggage and hand luggage, as well as about no-show of passengers for departure should be sent to the database.

The rules apply to both passengers flying to Russia and engaged thro flight over the territory of the Russian Federation. According to rough estimates of the European Commission, it is about 19 ​​million passengers per year, most of which take European Airlines flights from Europe to Asia.

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