ZAGREB, February 15, 2018 – The Croatian government on Thursday forwarded to parliament a bill on the transfer and processing of personal data on air passengers for the purpose of preventing, discovering, investigating and prosecuting crimes of terrorism and other grave types of crime, thus transposing into national law an EU directive designed to make the prevention of international crime more efficient.
The bill defines the procedure for the transfer of personal data on air passengers which is collected by airlines and their handling by the relevant authorities and it identifies the institutions that seek and receive, process and store passenger data. The bill also defines for how long those data are kept, it identifies the authority in charge of depersonalising the data, and defines sanctions for non-compliance with legally prescribed obligations.
Airlines are not given any new obligations with regard to the collection of additional data that would differ from those which they have had so far, and they are required to forward them to the Ministry of the Interior information unit, said Minister Davor Božinović.
Under the bill, the Ministry of the Interior forwards air passenger data and results of its processing to the relevant authorities, which may be both domestic and foreign, for further action, said Božinović. The cost of implementing the activities related to the bill will be covered with budget funds in the amount of slightly more than 21 million kuna as well as EU funds, said Božinović.
Airlines may be fined up to kuna 750,000 should they fail to submit a passenger manifest to the Interior Ministry, which they will be obliged to do under a bill on the transfer and processing of air passenger data, which is aimed at preventing, discovering, investigating and processing terrorism-related and other severe crimes and which the government sent to parliament on Thursday.
If an airline fails to submit a passenger manifest to the ministry, it will be fined between 150,000 kuna and 300,000 kuna, while the official in charge will be fined between 10,000 kuna and 30,000 kuna. In case of a repeated offence, fines will be more severe — between 300,000 kuna and 750,000 kuna for airlines and between 15,000 kuna and 50,000 kuna for officials in charge, Interior Minister Davor Božinović told the press.
The EU member states are obliged to implement this law as of 25 May 2018.
Božinović said the law was important for the overall efforts the government was investing to achieve its strategic objective — entering the Schengen area. This will not mean extra work for airlines. They will forward the data they collect anyway to the ministry. Everything will stay the same for passengers, except for the fact that their information will now be available to the national unit for monitoring air security, the minister said.
After processing the information, if the interior ministry suspects a passenger is involved in criminal activities, it will forward the data to the relevant agencies — intelligence agencies, the customs administration, the tax authority and office for the prevention of money laundering, the financial inspectorate, the prosecutor’s office and courts.