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Borders: Personal Records

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the likelihood of compliance by 2009 of charter and leisure operators which serve popular tourist destinations with requirements set under the e-Borders scheme for inbound travel documents. (243273)

The requirements of e-Borders have been presented to all carriers operating to and from the UK. No distinction is made between ‘charter and leisure operators’ and scheduled carriers and indeed the majority of carriers operate a mix of both scheduled and charter services.

In some instances, carriers have stated that they are likely to be unable to discharge their full obligations for data capture and transmission to e-Borders from the planned roll out date. Consequently e-Borders has invested in the creation of a series of transitional technical solutions (valid until the end of 2009) allowing carriers to supply data in a flexible manner that satisfies the requirements of the programme.

e-Borders is confident that by continuing to work in partnership with the industry and by offering transitional technical solutions the overall compliance rate will be very high.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects the projected benefits to the leisure and charter industry from the e-Borders scheme to begin to flow. (243294)

The creation of a safe and secure border is a benefit that will be felt by all of those involved in the travel industry including the travelling public.

The experience of project Semaphore has clearly demonstrated the value that advance capture and processing of passenger information adds to the safety and security of the United Kingdom by permitting the authorities to intervene in a timely and proportionate manner on those who would seek to do us harm.

The early capture of such information will be a key enabler for efficient processing of passengers and crew at the UK border and in turn benefit carriers and their passengers in maintaining smooth flow through their ports.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what deadlines have been set under the e-Borders scheme in respect of (a) outbound and (b) inbound travel document information for (i) leisure aviation, (ii) scheduled aviation, (iii) ferries, (iv) international rail, (v) boats, (vi) light aviation and (vii) other sectors. (243295)

e-Borders does not distinguish between inbound and outbound data, but rather focuses on individual routes where all carriers operating that route are required to submit data from a specific date, inbound and outbound.

Regarding the specific modes detailed in the question I can say that the full e-Borders roll out will commence from March 2009 for scheduled aviation and thereafter will be receiving data from all other sectors from 2010. This process will be rolled out across the industry in accordance with the country based roll out plan, with 95 per cent. of the totality of inbound and outbound passengers.