The course was organised by the Border Security and Management Unit of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department in close co-operation with Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (GdF), a law enforcement agency under the authority of the country’s Minister of Economy and Finance.
Members of the OSCE Mediterranean Points of Contact Network on border security and management completed an intensive and interactive four-day training course on Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) systems on 14 June 2019 in Bari, Italy.
The training was conducted by representatives of INTERPOL, the International Organisation for Migration, the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism, commercial service providers as well as relevant experts on passenger data from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, together with staff from the OSCE’s Border Security and Management Unit.
The participants, represented by border and customs services of Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, were familiarized with current trends challenges as well as the international legal framework related to foreign terrorist fighters in the Mediterranean region.
In-depth presentations focused on both the API and PNR systems and participants completed practical exercises in developing a roadmap for setting up an API system for preventing the movement of foreign terrorist fighters. They discussed the national security and data protection issues that need to be taken into account when implementing such a system.
An API system is an electronic system through which biographic data from a traveller’s passport and flight details are collected by airlines and transmitted to the relevant entities such as border control agencies before departure or arrival.
The highlight of the training was a study visit to the Guardia di Finanza’s air unit in Bari where participants were introduced to Italy’s maritime human rights compliant border protection system.
This training course was the sixth activity of a multi-year OSCE initiative aimed at strengthening co-operation mechanisms between the border security and management agencies of the OSCE participating States and the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation. The OSCE Mediterranean Points of Contact Network on border security and management was established in 2017.