EAASP News

Commission on the Ban of electronic items from the cabin baggage

With reference to the restrictions of electronic items in cabin baggage recently introduced by the U.S. and the United Kingdom from certain third country airports, we provide you with the official position of the European Union on the matter:

 

  • Member States and the relevant services of the European Commission and the European External Action Service met on 29 March in an extraordinary AVSEC Meeting following the announcement by US and UK to ban certain electronic items carried by passengers in the cabin baggage on a number of flights. The meeting offered an opportunity to have a fruitful exchange of information on the current risk situation. Representatives from United States, Canada and Australia also participated.

 

  • Member States and the relevant services of the EU concluded that the intelligence and aviation communities need to remain vigilant and ready to react to any increase in the current risk assessment. The Commission and the Member States will continue to proactively monitor to assess whether any action on their part might be warranted.

 

  • The on-going exercise undertaken in assessing the current risk and the engagement of the EU and its Member States in assisting and cooperating with third countries in the effective and sustainable implementation of ICAO Annex 17, is part of the European Agenda on Security.

 

  • The European Union remains fully committed in cooperating with ICAO in delivering the mandate contained in the UN Security Council Resolution No 2309 (2016), and will proactively engage with ICAO and international partners in the interest of a safer and more secure civil aviation to this effect.

On behalf of Carlos Mestre

Head of Unit A5 Security,

 

Francesco Faiulo

Policy Officer

Horizon 2020 Secure Societies programme

The EAASP is interested in supporting or participating in Horizon 2020 programmes where they directly support the aims of the organisation and the interests of our members.  Due to the organisation’s other commitments and the operational nature of the work of our members, we have limited resources to contribute to bids and projects and therefore have to be highly selective.  Nevertheless we are keen to support some of the activities in the topic areas of:

  • Fight against crime and Terrorism
  • Border Security and External Security
  • Critical Infrastructure protection

Our rôle may be as an Advisory Board member through to being a full Partner (subject to our resource limitations).  Should you wish us to consider supporting your bid please write to our Technical Advisor Rchisnall@innovasec.co.uk who will consult and respond to you on behalf of the association.

Under normal circumstances we aim to reply to your enquiry within 7 days.  Information supplied to us will be treated as proprietary and not shared outside the association.

Customs to pilot new border clearance system

Automated, biometric future for travellers.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service is preparing to appoint a supplier for a pilot of a new border clearance system in an effort to provide legitimate travellers with a faster and less onerous immigration processing experience.

Customs has been tasked with modernising its legacy IT systems and therefore its end-to-end border clearance capabilities as part of the Government’s focus on border security.

Its first step will be to introduce a new traveller clearance system - which will ascertain whether travellers are eligible to enter Australia through its air and sea ports.

The agency will embark on a proof of concept late this year and expects to have determined the feasibility of a solution by mid-February 2015.

A successful traveller clearance system would later be expanded to include clearance processing for vessels and cargo, Customs revealed.

It plans to run two proofs of concept side by side with at least two different suppliers to trial technology and implementation, which will inform the specifications of a subsequent request for bids.

The department’s plans are a result of expected growth in traveller numbers over the next ten years - which are forecast to rise from 30 million to 50 million annually by 2023  - as well as continued pressure on border agency operating budgets. Cargo transactions are similarly expected to rise to 97.9 million items per year by 2017, from a current rate of  31.8 million.

“This means that many more travellers need to be managed through the border process, through the same physical space, without significant additional operational expenditure,” the agency revealed in tender documents.

The new border clearance system will offer four key capabilities: planning and scheduling; integrated process automation and case management; identity resolution and master data management; and a console for the remote monitoring and controlling of biometric eGates - which the agency is currently trialling.

In its quest for intelligent traveller processing, Customs has outlined three “pillars” of its vision: a streamlined end-to-end business model with low contact for legitimate travellers; sustainable and smooth port operations; and an optimal mix of people and automation.

It wants to eliminate the “repeat and redundant contact” legitimate travellers are forced to enter into with border agencies, and replace it with an “intelligence-led, risk-driven” approach to identifying illegitimate travellers based on self-processing eGates.

“This streamlines the border crossing for the traveller and reduces unnecessary workload on the border control agencies.”

Customs plans to use a number of its existing systems in the proof of concept, including its Websphere-based enterprise service bus, its Airwatch mobile device management technology, its DB2 database technology, and Operational Decision Manager profiling engine.

The clearance system will build on Customs’ current trial of next-generation biometric electronic gates. It has been testing Vision Box and Morpho technology for several months under a two-year, $8.4 million trial of eGate technology.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has previously signalled his desire for an automated border processing system, which would allow travellers to move through Australian passport checking processes in under a minute.

Legitimate travellers should be able to breeze an airport through with minimal interaction, with border officials free to intervene on identities who generate an alert, under the planned approach.

Khat now an illegal Class C drug

The UK Government has decided to make khat an illegal Class C drug. The ban on khat will come into effect
on 24 June.

Why is khat being banned?

Khat contains natural ingredients which are already controlled drugs both in the UK and internationally because they are harmful. To help protect local communities from the potential health and social harms associated with khat and to ensure that the UK does not become a hub for international khat smuggling, it will become illegal to produce, possess, supply and import or export khat without a Home Office licence.

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