TITLE 4

The Schengen Information System

Chapter 1

Setting up of the Schengen Information System

Article 92

1. The Contracting Parties shall set up and maintain a joint information system; hereinafter referred to as the Schengen Information System, consisting of a national section in each of the Contracting Parties and a technical support function. The Schengen Information System shall enable the authorities designated by the Contracting Parties, by means of an automated search procedure, to have access to reports on persons and objects for the purposes of border checks and controls and other police and customs checks carried out within the country in accordance with national law and, in the case of the single category of report referred to in Article 96, for the purposes of issuing visas, the issue of residence permits and the administration of aliens in the context of the application of the provisions of this Convention relating to the movement of persons.

2. Each Contracting Party shall set up and maintain, for its own account and at its own risk, its national section of the Schengen Information System, the data file of which shall be made materially identical to the data files of the national sections of each of the other Contracting Parties using the technical support function. To ensure the rapid and effective transmission of data as referred to in paragraph 3, each Contracting Party shall observe, when creating its national section, the protocols and procedures which the Contracting Parties have jointly established for the technical support function. Each national section's data file shall be available for the purposes of automated search in the territory of each of the Contracting Parties. It shall not be possible to search the data files of other Contracting Parties' national sections.

3. The Contracting Parties shall set up and maintain jointly and with joint liability for risks, the technical support function of the Schengen Information System, the responsibility for which shall be assumed by the French Republic; the technical support function shall be located in Strasbourg. The technical support function shall comprise a data file which ensures that the data files of the national sections are kept identical by the on-line transmission of information. The data file of the technical support function shall contain reports on persons and objects where these concern all the Contracting Parties. The data file of the technical support function shall contain no data other than those referred to in this paragraph and in Article 113(2).

Chapter 2

Operation and utilization of the Schengen Information System

Article 93

The purpose of the Schengen Information System shall be in accordance with this Convention to maintain public order and security, including State security, and to apply the provisions of this Convention relating to the movement of persons, in the territories of the Contracting Parties, using information transmitted by, the system.

Article 94

1. The Schengen Information System shall contain only the categories of data which are supplied by each of the Contracting Parties and are required for the purposes laid down in Articles 95 to 100. The Contracting Party providing a report shall determine whether the importance of the case warrants the inclusion of the report in the Schengen Information System.

2. The categories of data shall be as follows:

(a) persons reported

(b) objects referred to in Article 100 and vehicles referred to in Article 99.

3. The items included in respect of persons, shall be no more than the following:

(a) name and forename, any aliases possibly registered separately; (b) any particular objective and permanent physical features; (c) first letter of second forename; (d) date and place of birth; (e) sex; (f) nationality; (g) whether the persons concerned are armed; (h) whether the persons concerned are violent; (i) reason for the report; (j) action to be taken.

Other references, in particular the data listed in Article 6, first sentence of the Council of Europe Convention of 28 January 1981 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, shall not be authorized.

4. Insofar as a Contracting Party considers that a report in accordance with Articles 95, 97 or 99 is incompatible with its national law, its international obligations or essential national interests, it may subsequently add to the report in the data file of the national section of the Schengen Information System a note to the effect that the action referred to will not be taken in its territory in connection with the report. Consultations must be held in this connection with the other Contracting Parties. If the reporting Contracting Party does not withdraw the report it will continue to apply in full for the other Contracting Parties.

Article 95

1. Data relating to persons wanted for arrest for extradition purposes shall be included at the request of the judicial authority of the requesting Contracting Party.

2. Prior to making a report, the reporting Contracting Party shall check whether the arrest is authorized by the national law of the requested Contracting Parties. If the reporting Contracting Party has doubts, it must consult the other Contracting Parties concerned.

The reporting Contracting Party shall send the requested Contracting Parties together with the report, by the swiftest means, the following essential information relating to the case:

(a) the authority which issued the request for arrest;

(b) whether there is an arrest warrant or a document having the same force, or an enforceable judgment;

(c) the nature and legal classification of the offence;

(d) a description of the circumstances in which the offence was committed, including the time, place and degree of participation in the offence by the person reported;

(e) as far as possible, the consequences of the offence.

3. A requested Contracting Party may add to the report in the file of the national section of the Schengen Information System a note prohibiting arrest in connection with the report, until such time as the note is deleted. The note shall be deleted no later than 24 hours after the report is included, unless the Contracting Party refuses to make the requested arrest on legal grounds or for special reasons of expediency. Where, in particularly exceptional cases, this is justified by the complexity of the facts underlying the report, the above time limit may be extended to one week. Without prejudice to a qualifying note or a decision to refuse arrest, the other Contracting Parties may make the arrest requested in the report.

4. If, for particularly urgent reasons, a Contracting Party requests an immediate search, the Party requested shall examine whether it is able to withdraw its note. The Contracting Party requested shall take the necessary steps to ensure that the action to be taken can be carried out without delay if the report is validated.

5. If the arrest cannot be made because an investigation has not been completed or owing to a refusal by the requested Contracting Party, the latter must regard the report as being a report for the purposes of communicating the place of residence of the person concerned.

6. The requested Contracting Parties shall carry out the action to be taken as requested in the report in compliance with extradition Conventions in force and with national law. They shall not be required to carry out the action requested where one of their nationals is involved, without prejudice to the possibility of making the arrest in accordance with national law.

Article 96

1. Data relating to aliens who are reported for the purposes of being refused entry shall be included on the basis of a national report resulting from decisions taken, in compliance with the rules of procedure laid down by national legislation, by the administrative authorities or courts responsible.

2. Decisions may be based on a threat to public order or national security and safety which the presence of an alien in national territory may pose.

Such may in particular be the case with:

(a) an alien who has been convicted of an offence carrying a custodial sentence of at least one year;

(b) an alien who, there are serious grounds for believing, has committed serious offences, including those referred to in Article 71, or against whom there is genuine evidence of an intention to commit such offences in the territory of a Contracting Party.

3. Decisions may also be based on the fact that the alien has been the subject of a deportation, removal or expulsion measure which has not been rescinded or suspended, including or accompanied by a prohibition on entry or, where appropriate, residence, based on non-compliance with national regulations on the entry or residence of aliens.

Article 97

Data relating to persons who have disappeared or to persons who, in the interests of their own protection or in order to prevent threats, need to be placed provisionally in a place of safety at the request of the competent authority or the competent judicial authority of the reporting Party, shall be included in order that the police authorities can communicate their whereabouts to the reporting Party or can remove the person to a place of safety for the purposes of preventing him from continuing his journey, if so authorized by national legislation. This shall apply in particular to minors and to persons who must be interned by decision of a competent authority. Communication of the information shall be subject to the consent of the person who has disappeared, if of full age.

Article 98

1. Data relating to witnesses, to persons summoned to appear before the judicial authorities in connection with criminal proceedings in order to account for acts for which they are being prosecuted, or to persons who are to be notified of a criminal judgment or of a summons to appear in order to serve a custodial sentence, shall be included, at the request of the competent judicial authorities, for the purposes of communicating their place of residence or domicile.

2. Information requested shall be communicated to the requesting Party in accordance with national legislation and with the Conventions in force concerning mutual judicial assistance in criminal matters.

Article 99

1. Data relating to persons or vehicles shall be included, in compliance with the national law of the reporting Contracting Party, for the purposes of discreet surveillance or specific checks, in accordance with paragraph 5.

2. Such a report may be made for the purposes of prosecuting criminal offences and for the prevention of threats to public safety:

(a) where there are real indications to suggest that the person concerned intends to commit or is committing numerous and extremely serious offences, or

(b) where an overall evaluation of the person concerned, in particular on the basis of offences committed hitherto, gives reason to suppose that he will also commit extremely serious offences in future.

3. In addition, a report may be made in accordance with national law, at the request of the authorities responsible for State security, where concrete evidence gives reason to suppose that the information referred to in paragraph 4 is necessary for the prevention of a serious threat by the person concerned or other serious threats to internal or external State security. The reporting Contracting Party shall be required to consult the other Contracting Parties beforehand.

4. For the purposes of discreet surveillance, the following information may in whole or in part be collected and transmitted to the reporting authority when border checks or other police and customs checks are carried out within the country:

(a) the fact that the person reported or the vehicle reported has been found;

(b) the place, time or reason for the check;

(c) the route and destination of. the journey;

(d) persons accompanying the person concerned or occupants of the vehicle;

(e) the vehicle used;

(f) objects carried;

(g) the circumstances under which the person or the vehicle was found.

When such information is collected, steps must be taken to ensure that the discreet nature of the surveillance is not jeopardized.

5. In the context of the specific checks referred to in paragraph 1, persons, vehicles and objects carried may be searched in accordance with national law, in order to achieve the purpose referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3. If the specific check is not authorized in accordance with the law of a Contracting Party, it shall automatically be converted, for that Contracting Party, into discreet surveillance.

6. A requested Contracting Party may add to the report in the file of the national section of the Schengen Information System a note prohibiting, until the note is deleted, performance of the action to be taken pursuant to the report for the purposes of discreet surveillance or specific checks. The note must be deleted no later than 24 hours after the report has been included unless the Contracting Party refuses to take the action requested on legal grounds or for special reasons of expediency. Without prejudice to a qualifying note or a refusal decision, the other Contracting Parties may carry out the action requested in the report.

Article 100

1. Data relating to objects sought for the purposes of seizure or of evidence in criminal proceedings shall be included in the Schengen Information System.

2. If a search brings to light the existence of a report on an item which has been found, the authority noticing the report shall contact the reporting authority in order to agree on the requisite measures. For this purpose, personal data may also be transmitted in accordance with this Convention. The measures to be taken by the Contracting Party which found the object must comply with its national law.

3. The categories of object listed below shall be included:

(a) motor vehicles with a capacity in excess of 50 cc which have been stolen, misappropriated or lost;

(b) trailers and caravans with an unladen weight in excess of 750 kg which have been stolen, misappropriated or lost;

(c) firearms which have been stolen, misappropriated or lost;

(d) blank documents which have been stolen, misappropriated or lost;

(e) identification documents issued (passports, identity cards, driving licences) which have been stolen, misappropriated or lost;

(f) bank notes (registered notes).

Article 101

1. Access to data included in the Schengen Information System and the right to search such data directly shall be reserved exclusively for the authorities responsible for

(a) border checks;

(b) other police and customs checks carried out within the country, and the co-ordination of such checks.

2. In addition, access to data included in accordance with Article 96 and the right to search such data directly may be exercised by the authorities responsible for issuing visas, the central authorities responsible for examining visa applications and the authorities responsible for issuing residence permits and the administration of aliens within the framework of the application of the provisions on the movement of persons under this Convention. Access to data shall be governed by the national law of each Contracting Party.

3. Users may only search data which are necessary for the performance of their tasks.

4. Each of the Contracting Parties shall communicate to the Executive Committee a list of the competent authorities which are authorized to search the data included in the Schengen Information System directly. That list shall indicate for each authority the data which it may search, and for what purposes.

Chapter 3

Protection of personal data and security of data under the Schengen Information System

Article 102

1. The Contracting Parties may use the data provided for in Articles 95 to 100 only for the purposes laid down for each type of report referred to in those Articles.

2. Data may be duplicated only for technical purposes, provided that such duplication is necessary for direct searching by the authorities referred to in Article 101. Reports by other Contracting Parties may not be copied from the national section of the Schengen Information System in other national data files.

3. In connection with the types of report provided for in Articles 95 to 100 of this Convention, any derogation from paragraph 1 in order to change from one type of report to another must be justified by the need to prevent an imminent serious threat to public order and safety, for serious reasons of State security or for the purposes of preventing a serious offence. The prior authorization of the reporting Contracting Party must obtain for this purpose.

4. Data may not be used for administrative purposes. By way of derogation, data included in accordance with Article 96 may be used, in accordance with the national law of each of the Contracting Parties, only for the purposes of Article 101 (2).

5. Any use of data which does not comply with paragraphs 7 to 4 shall be considered as a misuse in relation to the national law of each Contracting Party.

Article 103

Each Contracting Party shall ensure that, on average, every tenth transmission of personal data is recorded in the national section of the Schengen Information System by the data file managing authority for the purposes of checking the admissibility of searching. The recording may be used only for this purpose and shall be deleted after six months.

Article 104

1. The law applying to reports shall be the national law of the reporting Contracting Party, unless more rigorous conditions are laid down in this Convention.

2. Insofar as this Convention does not lay down specific provisions, the law of each Contracting Party shall apply to data included in the national section of the Schengen Information System.

3. Insofar as this Convention does not lay down specific provisions concerning performance of the action requested in the report, the national law of the Contracting Party requested which carries out the action shall apply. Insofar as this Convention lays down specific provisions concerning performance of the action requested in the report, responsibility for the action to be taken shall be governed by the national law of the requested Contracting Party. If the action requested cannot be performed, the requested Contracting Party shall inform the reporting Contracting Party without delay.

Article 105

The reporting Contracting Party shall be responsible for the accuracy, up- to-dateness and lawfulness of the inclusion of data in the Schengen Information System.

Article 106

1. Only the reporting Contracting Party shall be authorized to amend, supplement, correct o-r delete data which it has introduced.

2. If one of the Contracting Parties which has not made the report has evidence to suggest that an item of data is legally or factually inaccurate, it shall advise the reporting Contracting Party thereof as soon as possible; the latter must check the communication and, if necessary, correct or delete the item in question without delay.

3. If the Contracting Parties are unable to reach agreement, the Contracting Party which did not generate the report shall submit the case to the joint supervisory authority referred to in Article 115(1) for its opinion.

Article 107

Where a person has already been the subject of a report in the Schengen Information System, a Contracting Party which introduces a further report shall come to an agreement on the inclusion of the reports with the Contracting Party which introduced the first report. The Contracting Parties may also adopt general provisions to this end.

Article 108

1. Each of the Contracting Parties shall designate an authority which shall have central responsibility for the national section of the Schengen Information System.

2. Each of the Contracting Parties shall make its reports via that authority.

3. The said authority shall be responsible for the correct operation of the national section of the Schengen Information System and shall take the measures necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Convention.

4. The Contracting Parties shall inform one another, via the Depositary, of the authority referred to in paragraph 1.

Article 109

1. The right of any person to have access to data relating to him which are included in the Schengen Information System shall be exercised in accordance with the law of the Contracting Party before which it invokes that right. If the national law so provides, the national supervisory authority provided for in Article 114(1) shall decide whether information shall be communicated and by what procedures. A Contracting Party which has not made the report may communicate information concerning such data only if it has previously given the reporting Contracting Party an opportunity to state its position.

2. Communication of information to the person concerned shall be refused if it may undermine the performance of the legal task specified in the report or in order to protect the rights and freedoms of others. It shall be refused in any event during the period of reporting for the purposes of discreet surveillance.

Article 110

Any person may have factually inaccurate data relating to him corrected or have legally inaccurate data relating to him deleted.

Article 111

1. Any person may, in the territory of each Contracting Party, bring before the courts or the authority competent under national law an action to correct, delete or provide information or obtain compensation in connection with a report concerning him.

2. The Contracting Parties shall undertake amongst themselves to execute final decisions taken by the courts or authorities referred to in paragraph 1, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 116.

Article 112

1. Personal data included in the Schengen Information System for the purposes of locating persons shall be kept only for the time required to achieve the purposes for which they were supplied. No later than three years after their inclusion, the need for their retention must be reviewed by the reporting Contracting Party. This period shall be one year in the case of reports referred to in Article 99.

2. Each of the Contracting Parties shall, where appropriate, set shorter review periods in accordance with its national law.

3. The technical support function of the Schengen Information System shall automatically inform the Contracting Parties of a scheduled deletion of data from the system, giving one month's notice.

4. The reporting Contracting Party may, within the review period, decide to retain the report if its retention is necessary for the purposes for which the report was made. Any extension of the report must be communicated to the technical support function. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall apply to report extension.

Article 113

1. Data other than those referred to in Article 112 shall be retained for a maximum of ten years, data relating to identity documents issued and to registered bank notes for a-maximum of five years and those relating toymotor vehicles, trailers and caravans for a maximum of three years.

2. Data deleted shall continue to be retained for one year in the technical support function. During that period they may be consulted only for the purposes of subsequently checking their accuracy and the lawfulness of their inclusion. Afterwards they must be destroyed.

Article 114

1. Each Contracting Party shall designate a supervisory authority responsible, in compliance with national law, for carrying out independent supervision of the data file of the national section of the Schengen Information System and for checking that the processing and utilization of data included in the Schengen Information System are not in violation of the rights of the person concerned. For this purpose the supervisory authority shall have access to the data file of the national section of the Schengen Information System.

2. Any person shall have the right to ask the supervisory authorities to check the data concerning him which are included in the Schengen Information System, and the use which is made of such data. That right shall be governed by the national law of the Contracting Party to which the request is made. If the data have been included by another Contracting Party, the check shall be carried out in close co-ordination with that Contracting Party's supervisory authority.

Article 115

1. A joint supervisory authority shall be set up, with resposibility for supervising the technical support function of the Schengen Information System. This authority shall consist of two representatives of each national supervisory authority. Each Contracting Party shall have one vote. Supervision shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, of the Council of Europe Convention of 28 January 1981 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Automatic Processing of Personal Data, taking into account Recommendation R (87) 15 of 17 September 1987 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe regulating the use of personal data in the police sector, and in accordance with the national law of the Contracting Party responsible fyor the technical support function.

2. As regards the technical support function of the Schengen Information System, the joint supervisory authority shall have the task of checking that the provisions of this Convention are properly implemented. For this purpose it shall have access to the technical support function.

3. The joint supervisory authority shall also be competent to examine any difficulties of application or interpretation which may arise during the operation of the Schengen Information System, to study problems which may arise with the exercise of independent supervision by the national supervisory authorities of the Contracting Parties or in the exercise of the right of access to the system, and to draw up harmonized proposals for the purpose of finding joint solutions to problems.

4. Reports drawn up by the joint supervisory authority shall be forwarded to the authorities to which the national supervisory authorities submit their reports.

Article 116

1. Each Contracting Party shall be responsible, in accordance with its national law, for any injury caused to a person through the use of the national data file of the Schengen Information System. This shall also be the case where the injury was caused by the reporting Contracting Party, where the latter included legally or factually inaccurate data.

2. If the Contracting Party against which an action is brought is not the reporting Contracting Party; the latter shall be required to reimburse, on request, sums paid out as compensation, unless the data were used by the requested Contracting Party in contravention of this Convention.

Article 117

1. With regard to the automatic processing of personal data which are transmitted pursuant to this Title, each Contracting Party shall, not later than when this Convention enters into force, make the national arrangements necessary to achieve a level of protection of personal data at least equal to that resulting from the principles of the Council of Europe Convention of 28 January 1981 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Automatic Processing of Personal Data, and in compliance with Recommendation R (87) 15 of 17 September 1987 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe regulating the use of personal data in the police sector.

2. The transmission of personal data provided for in this Title may take place only where the arrangements for the protection of personal data provided for in paragraph 1 have entered into force in the territory of the Contracting Parties concerned by the transmission.

Article 118

1. Each of the Contracting Parties shall undertake, in respect of the national section of the Schengen Information System, to take the measures necessary to:

(a) prevent any unauthorized person from having access to installations used for the processing of personal data (checks at the entrance to installations);

(b) prevent data media from being read, copied, modified or removed by unauthorized persons (control of data media);

(c) prevent the unauthorized entry of data into the file and any unauthorized consultation, modification or deletion of personal data included in the file (control of data entry);

(d) prevent automated data processing systems from being used by unauthorized persons by means of data transmission equipment (control of utilization);

(e) guarantee that, with respect to the use of an automated data processing system, authorized persons have access only to data for which they are responsible (control of access);

(f) guarantee that it is possible to check and establish to which authorities personal data may be transmitted by data transmission equipment (control of transmission);

(g) guarantee that it is possible to check and establish a posteriori what personal data has been introduced into automated data processing systems, when and by whom (control of data introduction); (h) prevent the unauthorized reading, copying, modification or deletion of personal data during the transmission of data and the transport of data media (control of transport).

2. Each Contracting Party must take special measures to ensure the security of data when it is being transmitted to services located outside the territories of the Contracting Parties. Such measures must be communicated to the joint supervisory authority.

3. Each Contracting Party may designate for the processing of data in its national section of the Schengen Information System only specially qualified persons subject to security checks.

4. The Contracting Party responsible for the technical support function of the Schengen Information System shall take the measures laid down in paragraphs 1 to 3 in respect of the latter.

Chapter 4

Apportionment of the costs of the Schengen Information System

Article 119

1. The costs of setting up and using the technical support function referred to in Article 92C3!, including the cost of cabling for connecting the national sections of the Schengen Information System to the technical support function, shall be defrayed jointly by the Contracting Parties. Each Contracting Party's share shall be determined on the basis of the rate for each Contracting Party applied to the uniform basis of assessment of value-added tax within the meaning of Article 2(1) (c) of the Decision of the Council of the European Communities of 24 June 1988 on the system of the Communities' own resources.

2. The costs of setting up and using the national section of the Schengen Information System shall be borne by each Contracting Party individually.


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