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Green light for talks on EU-Japan Passenger Name Record agreement

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Green light for talks on EU-Japan Passenger Name Record agreement

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(BRUSSELS) - The EU Council gave a green light Tuesday for the start of negotiations with Japan on an agreement to enable the transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data from the European Union to Japan.

An agreement on the transfer and use of PNR data is seen as essential to strengthen the EU-Japan partnership on fighting terrorism and serious transnational crime.

"The application of PNR data to enhance security, while at the same time ensuring a strong protection of citizens' fundamental rights, will allow for this partnership to develop further," said Croatia's Minister of the Interior Davor Bozinovic, for the EU presidency.

The agreement will set out the framework and conditions for the exchange with and use by Japan of such data, ensuring full respect of data protection safeguards and fundamental rights, in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

PNR data is personal information provided by passengers and collected and held by air carriers. It includes information such as the name of the passenger, travel dates, itineraries, seats, baggage, contact details and means of payment.

The processing of PNR data is an important and effective tool to prevent and counter security threats. It helps to trace suspicious travel patterns and identify potential criminals and terrorists, including those previously unknown to law enforcement authorities.

At EU level, the transfer and processing of PNR data for the purpose of fighting terrorism and serious crime is regulated by the PNR directive, adopted in 2016.

The EU has already signed agreements allowing EU carriers to transfer PNR data to the United States and Australia. In December 2017, the Council authorised the Commission to re-negotiate the envisaged PNR agreement with Canada to align it with the data protection requirements set by the EU Court of Justice in its opinion of 26 July 2017. The negotiations with Canada have been concluded and are pending finalisation.

Council decision authorising the opening of negotiations with Japan for an agreement on the transfer and use of PNR data to prevent and combat terrorism and serious transnational crime

EU PNR directive (background information)


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