contents table Lexparency.org
Schengen Borders
ANNEX VI

ANNEX VI — Specific rules for the various types of border and the various means of transport used for crossing the Member States’ external borders

      1.Land borders

        1.1.Checks on road traffic

        1. To ensure effective checks on persons, while ensuring the safety and smooth flow of road traffic, movements at border crossing points shall be regulated in an appropriate manner. Where necessary, Member States may conclude bilateral agreements to channel and block traffic. They shall inform the Commission thereof pursuant to Article 42.
        1. At land borders, Member States may, where they deem appropriate and if circumstances allow, install or operate separate lanes at certain border crossing points, in accordance with Article 10.
        2. Separate lanes may be dispensed with at any time by the Member States’ competent authorities, in exceptional circumstances and where traffic and infrastructure conditions so require.

          Member States may cooperate with neighbouring countries with a view to the installation of separate lanes at external border crossing points.

        1. As a general rule, persons travelling in vehicles may remain inside them during checks. However, if circumstances so require, persons may be requested to alight from their vehicles. Thorough checks will be carried out, if local circumstances allow, in areas designated for that purpose. In the interests of staff safety, checks will be carried out, where possible, by two border guards.
          1.1.4.Shared border crossing points
        1. Member States may conclude or maintain bilateral agreements with neighbouring third countries concerning the establishment of shared border crossing points, at which Member State border guards and third-country border guards carry out exit and entry checks one after another in accordance with their national law on the territory of the other party. Shared border crossing points may be located either on the territory of a Member State territory or on the territory of a third country.
        2. Shared border crossing points located on Member State territory: bilateral agreements establishing shared border crossing points located on Member State territory shall contain an authorisation for third-country border guards to exercise their tasks in the Member State, respecting the following principles:
          1. International protection: a third-country national asking for international protection on Member State territory shall be given access to relevant Member State procedures in accordance with the Union asylum acquis.
          2. Arrest of a person or seizure of property: if third-country border guards become aware of facts justifying the arrest or placing under protection of a person or seizure of property, they shall inform Member State authorities of those facts and Member State authorities shall ensure an appropriate follow-up in accordance with national, Union and international law, independently of the nationality of the concerned person.
          3. Persons enjoying the right of free movement under Union law entering Union territory: third-country border guards shall not prevent persons enjoying the right of free movement under Union law from entering Union territory. If there are reasons justifying refusal of exit from the third country concerned, third-country border guards shall inform Member State authorities of those reasons and Member State authorities shall ensure an appropriate follow-up in accordance with national, Union and international law.
        3. Shared border crossing points located on third-country territory: bilateral agreements establishing shared border crossing points located on third-country territory shall contain an authorisation for Member State border guards to perform their tasks in the third country. For the purpose of this Regulation, any check carried out by Member State border guards in a shared border crossing point located on the territory of a third country shall be deemed to be carried out on the territory of the Member State concerned. Member State border guards shall exercise their tasks in accordance with this Regulation and respecting the following principles:
          1. International protection: a third-country national who has passed exit control by third-country border guards and subsequently asks Member State border guards present in the third country for international protection, shall be given access to relevant Member State procedures in accordance with Union asylum acquis. Third-country authorities shall accept the transfer of the person concerned into Member State territory.
          2. Arrest of a person or seizure of property: if Member State border guards become aware of facts justifying the arrest or placing under protection of a person or seizure of property, they shall act in accordance with national, Union and international law. Third-country authorities shall accept a transfer of the person or object concerned into Member State territory.
          3. Access to IT systems: Member State border guards shall be able to use information systems processing personal data in accordance with Article 8. Member States shall be allowed to establish the technical and organisational security measures required by Union law to protect personal data against accidental or unlawful destruction or accidental loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure or access, including access by third-country authorities.
        4. Before concluding or amending any bilateral agreement on shared border crossing points with a neighbouring third country, the Member State concerned shall consult the Commission as to the compatibility of the agreement with Union law. Pre-existing bilateral agreements shall be notified to the Commission by 20 January 2014.

          If the Commission considers the agreement to be incompatible with Union law, it shall notify the Member State concerned. The Member State shall take all appropriate steps to amend the agreement within a reasonable period in such a way as to eliminate the incompatibilities established.

        1.2.Checks on rail traffic

        1. Checks shall be carried out both on train passengers and on railway staff on trains crossing external borders, including those on goods trains or empty trains. Member States may conclude bilateral or multilateral agreements on how to conduct those checks respecting the principles set out in point 1.1.4. Those checks shall be carried out in one of the following ways:
          • in the first station of arrival or last station of departure on the territory of a Member State;
          • on board the train, during transit between the last station of departure in a third country and the first station of arrival on the territory of a Member State or vice versa;
          • in the last station of departure or the first station of arrival on the territory of a third country.
        1. In addition, in order to facilitate rail traffic flows of high-speed passenger trains, the Member States on the itinerary of these trains from third countries may also decide, by common agreement with third countries concerned respecting the principles set out in point 1.1.4., to carry out entry checks on persons on trains from third countries in either one of the following ways:
          • in the stations in a third country where persons board the train;
          • in the stations where persons disembark within the territory of the Member States;
          • on board the train during transit between stations on the territory of a third country and stations on the territory of the Member States, provided that the persons stay on board the train.
        1. With respect to high-speed trains from third countries making several stops in the territory of the Member States, if the rail transport carrier is in a position to board passengers exclusively for the remaining part of the journey within the territory of the Member States, such passengers shall be subject to entry checks either on the train or at the station of destination except where checks have been carried out pursuant to points 1.2.1 or 1.2.2 first indent.
        2. Persons who wish to take the train exclusively for the remaining part of the journey within the territory of the Member States shall receive clear notification prior to the train’s departure that they will be subject to entry checks during the journey or at the station of destination.

        1. When travelling in the opposite direction, the persons on board the train shall be subject to exit checks under similar arrangements.
        1. The border guard may order the cavities of carriages to be inspected if necessary with the assistance of the train inspector, to ensure that persons or objects subject to border checks are not concealed in them.
        1. Where there are reasons to believe that persons who have been reported or are suspected of having committed an offence, or third-country nationals intending to enter illegally, are hiding on a train, the border guard, if he or she cannot act in accordance with his national provisions, shall notify the Member States towards or within whose territory the train is moving.

      2.Air borders

        2.1.Procedures for checks at international airports

      1. The competent authorities of the Member States shall ensure that the airport operator takes the requisite measures to physically separate the flows of passengers on internal flights from the flows of passengers on other flights. Appropriate infrastructures shall be set in place at all international airports to that end.
      2. The place where border checks are carried out shall be determined in accordance with the following procedure:
        1. passengers on a flight from a third country who board an internal flight shall be subject to an entry check at the airport of arrival of the flight from a third country. Passengers on an internal flight who board a flight for a third country (transfer passengers) shall be subject to an exit check at the airport of departure of the latter flight;
        2. for flights from or to third countries with no transfer passengers and flights making more than one stop-over at the airports of the Member States where there is no change of aircraft:
          1. passengers on flights from or to third countries where there is no prior or subsequent transfer within the territory of the Member States shall be subject to an entry check at the airport of entry and an exit check at the airport of exit;
          2. passengers on flights from or to third countries with more than one stop-over on the territory of the Member States where there is no change of aircraft (transit passengers), and provided that passengers cannot board the aircraft for the leg situated within the territory of the Member States, shall be subject to an entry check at the airport of arrival and an exit check at the airport of departure;
          3. where an airline may, for flights from third countries with more than one stop-over within the territory of the Member States, board passengers only for the remaining leg within that territory, passengers shall be subject to an exit check at the airport of departure and an entry check at the airport of arrival.

            Checks on passengers who, during those stop-overs, are already on board the aircraft and have not boarded in the territory of the Member States shall be carried out in accordance with point (ii). The reverse procedure shall apply to that category of flights where the country of destination is a third country.

      3. Border checks will normally not be carried out on the aircraft or at the gate, unless it is justified on the basis of an assessment of the risks related to internal security and illegal immigration. In order to ensure that, at the airports designated as border crossing points, persons are checked in accordance with the rules set out in Articles 7 to 14, Member States shall ensure that the airport authorities take the requisite measures to channel passenger traffic to facilities reserved for checks.

        Member States shall ensure that the airport operator takes the necessary measures to prevent unauthorised persons entering and leaving the reserved areas, for example the transit area. Checks will normally not be carried out in the transit area, unless it is justified on the basis of an assessment of the risks related to internal security and illegal immigration; in particular checks in this area may be carried out on persons subject to an airport transit visa in order to check that they are in possession of such a visa.

      4. Where, in cases of force majeure or imminent danger or on the instructions of the authorities, an aircraft on a flight from a third country has to land on a landing ground which is not a border crossing point, that aircraft may continue its flight only after authorisation from the border guards and from customs. The same shall apply where an aircraft on a flight from a third country lands without permission. In any event, Articles 7 to 14 shall apply to checks on persons on those aircraft.

        2.2.Procedures for checks in aerodromes

      1. It shall be ensured that persons are also checked, in accordance with Articles 7 to 14, in airports which do not hold the status of international airport under the relevant national law (aerodromes) but through which the routing of flights from or to third countries is authorised.
      2. By way of derogation from point 2.1.1 it shall not be necessary to make appropriate arrangements in aerodromes to ensure that inflows of passengers from internal and other flights are physically separated, without prejudice to Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(1). In addition, when the volume of traffic is low, the border guards need not be present at all times, provided that there is a guarantee that the necessary personnel can be deployed in good time.
      3. When the presence of the border guards is not assured at all times in the aerodrome, the manager of the aerodrome shall give adequate notice to the border guards about the arrival and the departure of aircrafts on flights from or to third countries.

        2.3.Checks on persons on private flights

      1. In the case of private flights from or to third countries the captain shall transmit to the border guards of the Member State of destination and, where appropriate, of the Member State of first entry, prior to take-off, a general declaration comprising inter alia a flight plan in accordance with Annex 2 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and information concerning the passengers’ identity.
      2. Where private flights coming from a third country and bound for a Member State make stop-overs in the territory of other Member States, the competent authorities of the Member State of entry shall carry out border checks and affix an entry stamp to the general declaration referred to in point 2.3.1.
      3. Where uncertainty exists whether a flight is exclusively coming from, or solely bound for, the territories of the Member States without stop-over on the territory of a third country, the competent authorities shall carry out checks on persons in airports and aerodromes in accordance with points 2.1 to 2.2.
      4. The arrangements for the entry and exit of gliders, micro-light aircraft, helicopters, small-scale aircraft capable of flying short distances only and airships shall be laid down by national law and, where applicable, by bilateral agreements.

      3.Sea borders

        3.1.General checking procedures on maritime traffic

      1. Checks on ships shall be carried out at the port of arrival or departure, or in an area set aside for that purpose, located in the immediate vicinity of the vessel or on board ship in the territorial waters as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Member States may conclude agreements according to which checks may also be carried out during crossings or, upon the ship’s arrival or departure, on the territory of a third country, respecting the principles set out in point 1.1.4.
      2. The master, the ship’s agent or some other person duly authorised by the master or authenticated in a manner acceptable to the public authority concerned (in both cases the master), shall draw up a list of the crew and any passengers containing the information required in the forms 5 (crew list) and 6 (passenger list) of the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) as well as, where applicable, the visa or residence permit numbers:
        • at the latest twenty-four hours before arriving in the port, or
        • at the latest at the time the ship leaves the previous port, if the voyage time is less than twenty-four hours, or
        • if the port of call is not known or it is changed during the voyage, as soon as this information is available.

        The master shall communicate the list(s) to the border guards or, if national law so provides, to other relevant authorities which shall forward the list(s) without delay to the border guards.

      3. A confirmation of receipt (signed copy of the list(s) or an electronic receipt confirmation) shall be returned to the master by the border guards or by the authorities referred to in point 3.1.2., who shall produce it on request when the ship is in port.
      4. The master shall promptly report to the competent authority any changes to the composition of the crew or the number of passengers.

        In addition, the master shall notify the competent authorities promptly, and within the time-limit set out in point 3.1.2., of the presence on board of stowaways. Stowaways, however, remain under the responsibility of the master.

        By way of derogation from Articles 5 and 8, no systematic border checks shall be carried out on persons staying aboard. Nevertheless a search of the ship and checks on the persons staying aboard shall be carried out by border guards only when this is justified on the basis of an assessment of the risks related to internal security and illegal immigration.

      5. The master shall notify the competent authority of the ship’s departure in due time and in accordance with the rules in force in the port concerned.

        3.2.Specific check procedures for certain types of shipping

          Cruise ships

        1. The cruise ship’s master shall transmit to the competent authority the itinerary and the programme of the cruise, as soon as they have been established and no later than within the time-limit set out in point 3.1.2.
        2. If the itinerary of a cruise ship comprises exclusively ports situated in the territory of the Member States, by way of derogation from Articles 5 and 8, no border checks shall be carried out and the cruise ship may dock at ports which are not border crossing points.

          Nevertheless, checks shall be carried out on the crew and passengers of those ships only when this is justified on the basis of an assessment of the risks related to internal security and illegal immigration.

        3. If the itinerary of a cruise ship comprises both ports situated in the territory of the Member States and ports situated in third countries, by way of derogation from Article 8, border checks shall be carried out as follows:
          1. where the cruise ship comes from a port situated in a third country and calls for the first time at a port situated in the territory of a Member State, crew and passengers shall be subject to entry checks on the basis of the nominal lists of crew and passengers, as referred to in point 3.1.2.

            Passengers going ashore shall be subject to entry checks in accordance with Article 8 unless an assessment of the risks related to internal security and illegal immigration shows that there is no need to carry out such checks;

          2. where the cruise ship comes from a port situated in a third country and calls again at a port situated in the territory of a Member State, crew and passengers shall be subject to entry checks on the basis of the nominal lists of crew and passengers as referred to in point 3.1.2. to the extent that those lists have been modified since the cruise ship called at the previous port situated in the territory of a Member State.

            Passengers going ashore shall be subject to entry checks in accordance with Article 8 unless an assessment of the risks related to internal security and illegal immigration shows that there is no need to carry out such checks;

          3. where the cruise ship comes from a port situated in a Member State and calls at such a port, passengers going ashore shall be subject to entry checks in accordance with Article 8 if an assessment of the risks related to internal security and illegal immigration so requires;
          4. where a cruise ship departs from a port situated in a Member State to a port in a third country, crew and passengers shall be subject to exit checks on the basis of the nominal lists of crew and passengers.

            If an assessment of the risks related to internal security and illegal immigration so requires, passengers going on board shall be subject to exit checks in accordance with Article 8;

          5. where a cruise ship departs from a port situated in a Member State to such a port, no exit checks shall be carried out.

            Nevertheless, checks shall be carried out on the crew and passengers of those ships only when this is justified on the basis of an assessment of the risks related to internal security and illegal immigration.

          Pleasure boating

        1. By way of derogation from Articles 5 and 8, persons on board a pleasure boat coming from or departing to a port situated in a Member State shall not be subject to border checks and may enter a port which is not a border crossing point.

          However, according to the assessment of the risks of illegal immigration, and in particular where the coastline of a third country is located in the immediate vicinity of the territory of the Member State concerned, checks on those persons and/or a physical search of the pleasure boat shall be carried out.

        2. By way of derogation from Article 5, a pleasure boat coming from a third country may, exceptionally, enter a port which is not a border crossing point. In that case, the persons on board shall notify the port authorities in order to be authorised to enter that port. The port authorities shall contact the authorities in the nearest port designated as a border crossing point in order to report the vessel’s arrival. The declaration regarding passengers shall be made by lodging the list of persons on board with the port authorities. That list shall be made available to the border guards, at the latest upon arrival.

          Likewise, if for reasons of force majeure the pleasure boat coming from a third country has to dock in a port other than a border crossing point, the port authorities shall contact the authorities in the nearest port designated as a border crossing point in order to report the vessel’s presence.

        3. During those checks, a document containing all the technical characteristics of the vessel and the names of the persons on board shall be handed in. A copy of that document shall be given to the authorities in the ports of entry and departure. As long as the vessel remains in the territorial waters of one of the Member States, a copy of that document shall be included amongst the ship’s papers.

          Coastal fishing

        1. By way of derogation from Articles 5 and 8, the crews of coastal fisheries vessels which return every day or within 36 hours to the port of registration or to any other port situated in the territory of the Member States without docking in a port situated in the territory of a third country shall not be systematically checked. Nevertheless, the assessment of the risks of illegal immigration, in particular where the coastline of a third country is located in the immediate vicinity of the territory of the Member State concerned, shall be taken into account in order to determine the frequency of the checks to be carried out. According to those risks, checks on persons and/or a physical search of the vessel shall be carried out.
        2. The crews of coastal fisheries vessels not registered in a port situated in the territory of a Member State shall be checked in accordance with the provisions relating to seamen.

          Ferry connections

        1. Checks shall be carried out on persons on board ferry connections with ports situated in third countries. The following rules shall apply:
          1. where possible, Member States shall provide separate lanes, in accordance with Article 10;
          2. checks on foot passengers shall be carried out individually;
          3. checks on vehicle occupants shall be carried out while they are at the vehicle;
          4. ferry passengers travelling by coach shall be considered as foot passengers. Those passengers shall alight from the coach for the checks;
          5. checks on drivers of heavy goods vehicles and any accompanying persons shall be conducted while the occupants are at the vehicle. Those checks will in principle be organised separately from checks on the other passengers;
          6. to ensure that checks are carried out quickly, there shall be an adequate number of gates;
          7. so as to detect illegal immigrants in particular, random searches shall be made on the means of transport used by the passengers, and where applicable on the loads and other goods stowed in the means of transport;
          8. ferry crew members shall be dealt with in the same way as commercial ship crew members;
          9. point 3.1.2. (obligation to submit passenger and crew lists) does not apply. If a list of the persons on board has to be drawn up in accordance with Council Directive 98/41/EC(2), a copy of that list shall be transmitted not later than thirty minutes after departure from a third-country port by the master to the competent authority of the port of arrival on the territory of the Member States.
        2. Where a ferry coming from a third country with more than one stop within the territory of the Member States takes passengers on board only for the remaining leg within that territory, those passengers shall be subject to an exit check at the port of departure and an entry check at the port of arrival.

          Checks on persons who, during those stop-overs, are already on board the ferry and have not boarded in the territory of the Member States shall be carried out at the port of arrival. The reverse procedure shall apply where the country of destination is a third country.

          Cargo connections between Member States

        1. By way of derogation from Article 8, no border checks shall be carried out on cargo connections between the same two or more ports situated on the territory of the Member States, not calling at any ports outside the territory of the Member States and consisting of the transport of goods.

          Nevertheless, checks shall be carried out on the crew and passengers of those ships only when they are justified on the basis of an assessment of the risks relating to internal security and illegal immigration.

      4.Inland waterways shipping

    1. Inland waterways shipping involving the crossing of an external border covers the use, for business or pleasure purposes, of all types of boat and floating vessels on rivers, canals and lakes.
    2. As regards boats used for business purposes, the captain and the persons employed on board who appear on the crew list and members of the families of those persons who live on board shall be regarded as crew members or equivalent.
    3. The relevant provisions of points 3.1 to 3.2 shall apply mutatis mutandis to checks on inland waterways shipping.