13 September 2016

Commission proposes EU certification system for airport security equipment


The European Commission is proposing to establish a single EU certification procedure for aviation security screening equipment to enhance the competitiveness of the EU security industry, as previously announced on 20 April when setting out the way forward towards the achievement of an effective and genuine EU Security Union. The introduction of an EU certificate will allow security equipment approved in one Member State to also be put on the market in others. The creation of an EU system of mutual recognition for security equipment will help overcome market fragmentation, strengthen the competitiveness of the EU security industry, boost employment in the sector and ultimately contribute to improving aviation security across Europe.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "Technology can help us to prevent threats before they materialise, and strengthen the security of European citizens and the resilience of European society as a whole. Today's proposal, by simplifying and harmonising the rules for the certification of airport screening equipment, will ensure that our high security screening standards are applied at airports everywhere in the EU. It will also contribute to boosting the competitiveness of the European security industry and improving its capacity to offer solutions enhancing the security of European citizens."

Security equipment used for the screening of persons, cabin baggage and goods in the aviation sector represents a significant market: it has an annual global turnover of €14 billion, of which €4.2 billion is in the EU alone. Currently, however, the EU’s internal market for screening equipment is fragmented due to national certification procedures, which hamper market efficiency and the free movement of goods. Ensuring the free movement of civil aviation security screening equipment within the internal market will increase the global competitiveness of the EU security industry.

The existing EU legislation establishing the technical specifications and performance requirements for aviation security screening equipment at EU airports does not establish a legally binding EU-wide conformity assessment scheme to ensure that the required standards are met at all EU airports. Therefore, equipment certified in one EU Member State cannot be put on the market in others. The Commission's proposal establishes a single EU certification system based on a common testing methodology and the issuance of certificates of conformity by manufacturers, which would be valid in all EU Member States, according to the principle of mutual recognition.