Select Committee on European Scrutiny Thirty-Seventh Report


42 Aviation security

(27808)

Draft Commission Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 622/2003 laying down measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security

Legal baseArticle 80 (2); — ; QMV in the Regulatory Committee
DepartmentTransport
Basis of considerationEM of 25 September 2006
Previous Committee ReportNone
To be discussed in CouncilNone planned
Committee's assessmentPolitically important
Committee's decisionCleared

Background

42.1 Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks the Community agreed new legislation governing aviation security — the framework Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002 (a recast of which is being negotiated at present)[101] and a number of implementing Commission Regulations, including Regulation (EC) No 622/2003 which is concerned with common basic standards. The implementing regulations are adopted under a comitology procedure in order to allow swift adjust in response to changing threats.[102]

The document

42.2 In this draft Regulation the Commission propose to amend Regulation (EC) No 622/2003 so as to address the threat from a new terrorist methodology, involving use of liquid explosives to cause catastrophic failure of aircraft in flight. The draft Regulation would:

  • place controls on the amounts of liquids able to be taken through security check points;
  • regulate the size of hand luggage;
  • require laptops and other large electrical items to be removed from hand luggage for separate screening;
  • increase hand search ratios;
  • require passengers to remove outer garments such as coats before screening; and
  • provide specially for some items, which otherwise would fall outside the allowable parameters — principally, equipment required in cabin by disabled passengers, certain oversized valuable items, liquids required by special groups of passengers, including the sick and disabled and certain liquids sold at airports, mainly duty free items.

The full details of the new requirements are to be set out in an annex which, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002, will be secret and unpublished.

42.3 In view of the urgency it is in tended that the Regulation be adopted quickly in order to come into operation this month.

The Government's view

42.4 The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Gillian Merron) says that the Government thinks the proposal would considerably enhance current aviation security provision in the Community. She adds that:

  • Member States will retain the option of implementing more stringent measures;
  • the proposed measures are in some respects less stringent than the present UK requirements (which will be kept under review in order to see whether they might be matched to the new Community requirements);
  • these matters have been discussed in her department's National Aviation Security Committee, which includes industry representatives; and
  • the UK industry understands the reasoning behind the new proposals and accepts the need for legislative action.

Conclusion

42.5 We are grateful to the Minister for drawing this proposal to our attention and clear the document.





101   (26861) 12588/05: See HC 34-viii (2005-06), para 4 (2 November 2005), HC 34-xv (2005-06), para 2 (18 January 2006) and Stg Co Deb. European Standing Committee, 7 March 2006, cols 3-16. Back

102   Comitology in this case provides for the Commission to make Regulations in accordance with opinions of the regulatory Committee on Civil Aviation Security, which is chaired by the Commission, is representative of the Member States and reaches decisions by qualified majority voting. Back


 
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