Interior Ministry: Airlines Should Transmit All Passenger Data to Border Police

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An appropriate bill was drafted by the Interior Ministry and submitted for a public discussion. According to the authorities, the measure is needed to strengthen the capacity of state structures to combat terrorism and crime. “Foreign terrorist fighters pose an acute and growing threat to international peace and security. Terrorists’ activities can increase the intensity, duration, intractability and unpredictability of conflicts and pose a serious threat to terrorists’ states of origin, the states through which terrorists pass and the states they are coming to, as well as states bordering the areas of armed conflict in which those fighters are active”, Interior Ministry officials said. The authorities said that geopolitical changes and the consequences of Russia's war against Ukraine would have a long-term impact on the security not only of Moldova, but also of the European Union in the coming years, so it was necessary to be able to respond promptly and decisively to new challenges and confront risks and threats to the state. According to the Interior Ministry, the collection and use of passenger information will give an opportunity to identify persons of interest before they reach the border check point. Passenger data will be collected by the Passenger Information Unit, a new institution to be established within the Border Police. According to the draft, airlines will transmit passenger data at intervals of a) 48 hours to 24 hours before the scheduled flight time; b) in the absence of PNR (Passenger Check-in Record) data, airlines will send updates every 2 hours; c) immediately after closure of the flight, i.e. immediately after passengers boarded the aircraft preparing for take-off and when passengers are unable to embark or disembark. The Interior Ministry specifies that information would be provided not only on passengers but also on crew members. It is required by international legal instruments. The experience of several countries, such as Romania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Lithuania and Canada, was studied during the project development.