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Migration and Home Affairs
News article20 July 2020

Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive delivers good results in the fight against terrorism and serious crime

Today, the Commission has adopted the PNR Directive Review Report (PDF), reviewing the first two years of application of the Passenger Name Record PNR Directive. The Directive regulates the collection and processing of PNR data by EU Member States. PNR is composed of the information provided by passengers, gathered by airlines in the normal course of their business and transferred to the Member States. Member States process such data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.

The main findings of the report are set out below:

  • The development of the EU-wide PNR system is well under way: 24 out of 26 Member States have notified full transposition of the PNR Directive. The vast majority of Member States have established operational Passenger Information Units, which are the designated units responsible for collecting and processing PNR data. The Passenger Information Units are already exchanging PNR data among themselves, which contributes to closing information gaps.
  • Member States comply with the data protection standards set out in the Directive: the review overall confirms that national authorities are committed to respect the Directive’s data protection safeguards and implement them in practice. These safeguards ensure the proportionality of PNR processing and aim to prevent abuse.
  • The use of PNR data has delivered tangible results in the fight against terrorism and serious crime: law enforcement authorities report that PNR data has been successfully used to plan their interventions in advance, identify previously unknown suspects, establish links between members of crime groups and verify the assumed ‘modus operandi’ of serious criminals. These results could not have been achieved without the processing of PNR data, e.g. by using exclusively other tools such as Advance Passenger Information.

After the summer, the review report will be presented to the European Parliament and the Council for further discussion and reflection.


The PNR Directive was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 27 April 2016 and the deadline for transposition into national law was 25 May 2018.

On 28 November 2016, the Commission adopted an Implementation Plan for the PNR Directive (PDF) that broadly outlined the stage reached by Member States in the process of implementing the PNR Directive by that time, and identified a number of indicative milestones that Member States should meet in order to have functional PNR systems in place by May 2018.

In addition, on 28 April 2017 the Commission adopted Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/759 on the data formats and common protocols to be used by air carriers for the transfer of PNR data to Member States.


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Publication date
20 July 2020