Travel warning over new counter terror rules

Stringent new travel rules will put pressure on event organisers, an
agency boss has claimed.

Chris Parnham (pictured), director at Absolute Corporate Events, said a European Commission counter-terror
plan will add more red tape to travel plans and that only those firms with
robust systems will be able to cope.

The EU scheme will demand
the blanket collection and storage for up to five years of personal data
records of all passengers flying in and out of Europe.

It requires 42 separate
pieces of information on every passenger, including their bank card details,
home address and meal preferences, to be stored on a central database for up to
five years for access by the police and security services.

European
interior ministers, including the home secretary, Theresa May, agreed in
Paris on the day of the “Je Suis Charlie” unity march that there was a “crucial
and urgent need to move toward a European passenger name record system”.

Parnham said: “The new travel requirements will undoubtedly place
a further administrative burden on corporate travel teams, bookers and event
companies, but the risk is present, and we will all have to work a little
harder to ensure ongoing safety and security.

“Clients using professional event
companies or travel management companies to manage their travel or events
shouldn’t worry, as any company worth its salt will have robust data collection
systems that can cope with this quite easily. Those that try to manage their
group travel and event internally or those using less professional companies
may well get into difficulty though. In a way, this might clean up our industry
a little, along the way.”

The plan will be on the
agenda when EU interior ministers meet in Riga tomorrow (January 29).

A spokeswoman for the EU Commission told CN: “The commission is committed to working together with the co-legislators to achieve
a legal instrument which is both effective and is fully in line with fundamental
rights. We are carefully assessing all options for how the commission can best
help EU legislators to reach a quick and effective result on the EU PNR
proposal.”

Do you have a story for CN? Email: John Keenan

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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