Select Committee on European Union Forty-Ninth Report


CIVIL AVIATION SECURITY (10316/02)

Letter from the Chairman to David Jamieson MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport

  Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum dated 11 July which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 22 July.

  We support the position that the Government has maintained in negotiation. We accept that this proposed Regulation would extend Community competence into the field of civil aviation security for the first time, and that it is appropriate as being the only instrument that can ensure a standard level of civil aviation security throughout the Community. But, we are concerned that the Regulation should not undermine the competence of Member States. We, therefore, agree with you and the Commission that all amendments relating to financial provisions for security arrangements should be rejected.

  We agree with you, too, that the deadline for implementing the Regulation for international flights should be 31 December 2002. From your consultation with industry it seems that a delay in applying the deadline to cargo and mail on domestic services would be acceptable. We accept this.

  Finally, we note that the conciliation process will start shortly. This being the case, the Scrutiny reserve on this document is maintained until we learn the outcome of that process.

23 July 2002

Letter from David Jamieson to the Chairman.

  On 23 July Lord Brabazon of Tara wrote to me in respect of the above Explanatory Memorandum.

  The Explanatory Memorandum, submitted on 11 July, informed your Committee that, because the European Commission was unable to accept a number of the amendments to the proposed Regulation on aviation security put forward by the European Parliament, a conciliation process was about to start. Lord Brabazon notified the Minister that the Lords' Committee was placing a scrutiny reserve on the document until the outcome of this process was known.

  I am now writing to confirm that agreement has just been reached on the outstanding issues. In fact the regulation has changed very little. Despite some imperfections, it is long overdue and we now wish to see it introduced as soon as possible. Unfortunately, it was not possible to inform the Committee of the outcome earlier owing to the conciliation process running hard up against the November 15 deadline, and the Joint Text, which the UK plans to support, is likely to be put to the Council as an "A" point shortly. The new Regulation is then expected to enter into force in January 2003 although the requirement to screen cargo, baggage and mail on domestic services—the only elements not currently in the UK National Aviation Security Programme—will come into force on 31 December. Disappointingly, the requirement for staff searching will be phased in, and may not be fully implemented in all Member States until 2009.

  All proposed Parliamentary amendments relating to financial provisions for security arrangements have been rejected. Instead, an inter-institutional declaration will be attached to the Regulation committing the Commission to carry out a review of economic consequences of the security measures with all possible speed.

28 November 2002

Letter from the Chairman to Mr David Jamieson MP

  Thank you for your letter dated 28 November which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 9 December.

  We regret that you were unable to give us some indication earlier of the way in which the conciliation process was going. We accept that the new joint text, which marks the end of that process, takes care of our main concern which was that all proposed European Parliament amendments relating to financial provisions for security arrangements be rejected.

  We note, too, that the Regulation will enter into force in January 2003, but that the requirement to screen cargo, baggage and mail on domestic services will come into force on 31 December 2002.

  We regard the Scrutiny reserve on this document as lifted.

11 December 2002


 
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