Collection and transfer of advance passenger information (API) for enhancing and facilitating external border controls

In “Promoting our European Way of Life”

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In December 2022. the Commission presented two legislative proposals aiming to revise the rules on the collection and transfer of advance passenger information (API). One of these proposals (COM (2022)729) aims to revise the API rules in order to enhance and facilitate external border controls.

Advance passenger information (API) is data collected by air carriers at check-in and sent to border control authorities in the country of destination. In the EU, Council Directive 2004/82/EC on the obligation of carriers to communicate passenger data ('API Directive') regulates the collection and transmission of API data. The Directive imposes an obligation on air carriers to transmit, upon request, passenger data to the Member State of destination prior to the flight’s take-off, for flights in-bound from a third country to improve border controls and combat illegal immigration. It also enables Member States to use the API data for law enforcement purposes, including fighting organised crime and terrorism.

The main proposed changes are:

  • establish uniform rules on API data collection. The new rules include a closed list of API data elements, the means to collect API data, and a single point for the transfer of the data.
  • provide for the mandatory API data collection for the purposes of border management and combating irregular immigration on all flights entering the Schengen area.
  • enhance the quality of API data, as air carriers will have to collect API data by automated means only
  • develop a technical solution enabling air carriers to transmit API data to national authorities. The technical system will be managed by the eu-LISA and will not store API data.

The proposal falls under the ordinary legislative proposal where the European Parlaiment and the Council act as co-legislators. In the European Parliament, the proposal has been assigned to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), where the appointed rapporteur, Oetjen Jan-Christoph (Renew, Germany), is preparing a draft report.


Author: Costica Dumbrava, Members' Research Service,

As of 20/05/2023.