The “border crossing” working group from the UIC Security Platform had identified the advantage of exempting railway staff who frequently cross borders in the Schengen area from the systematic stamping of their passport.
A similar exemption already exists for air and sea transport staff.
This topic was taken up by Frontex, the EU agency for the management of national borders, as the pilot project “no stamps for railway crew” and on 10 March 2011 the European Commission published the document COM (2011) 118 final, “Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council” putting this exemption in place.
To prepare for the relevant discussion, Frontex asked the UIC group to send out a questionnaire to the railway undertakings in European countries on the eastern border of the Schengen area and external countries on the volume of traffic and movement of railway staff across borders and to present a summary of responses. This was validated at the meeting held in Riga and the visit to the border post of Kārsava on 28 and 29 April 2011, at the invitation of LDZ.
It was presented to the agency on 11 May 2011.
Within a month the UIC Security division will draw up a summary consisting of a proposal for a professional identity card specific to those countries requiring one and which, when presented with a passport, will exempt the holder from being stamped, if the Commission proposal is accepted. The group would thus begin experimenting immediately.
The results will be evaluated at the Group’s meeting planned for spring 2012 at the invitation of the Croatian railways.