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08 July 2005

G8 Countries Cooperate on Secure International Travel Initiative

Report says countries share best travel practices for efficiency, security

The Group of Eight (G8) nations have made progress in addressing travel security and efficiency concerns identified by the Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative, says the 2005 G8 Summit Progress Report.

In the report, the G8 members -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- summarized their best practices for ensuring passenger identity, processing travel documents, increasing travel efficiency and promoting air and ground security.  The countries also focused on reducing the threat from man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).

The G8 will work with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to encourage worldwide implementation of these practices, the report says.

Following is the text of the report:

(begin text)




Last year at Sea Island we adopted the Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative to enhance the security of the travelling public while improving the efficiency and facilitating the ease of travel. Excellent progress has been made against the 28 areas identified by the action plan. The following report provides details of this progress, with the original action points in italics.

Document Interoperability through International Standards

1. Expedite co-operative work to develop and export best practices, including methods of risk analysis, to ensure security while facilitating travel across international borders, particularly for frequent travellers, without compromising existing or future security procedures. We will ensure these best practices are fair and objective.

The G8 has produced a best practices paper based on members' current practices and methodologies for facilitating the movement of low-risk registered travelers.

2. Work with ICAO and others to strengthen international standardised practices for passport issuance, and encourage their adoption and implementation by all governments. We will work to effect implementation by the 2005 Summit.

The G8 has set standards for travel document issuance and handling that have been accepted as recommended practice by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Building on this work, it has also produced a paper entitled "Recommended Practices for Authenticating Identity Underlying the Issuance of Travel and Identity Documents", aimed at combating identity fraud.

3. Accelerate development of international standards for the interoperability of government-issued smart chip passports and other government-issued identity documents. We will work for implementation by the 2005 Summit.

The G8 determined that ICAO has developed interoperable technical specifications for smart chip passports that are now being used as the basis for the production of these documents. The G8 will maintain a watching brief on future developments.

International Information Exchange

4. Develop mechanisms, where possible, for real-time data exchange with respect to validation of travel documents, visa watchlist information and advanced passenger information, while fully respecting applicable personal data protection rules.

Interim progress by December 2004, with a view toward beginning implementation in 2005.

The action item has been addressed through related action under numbers 5, 14, and 21.

5. Agree to provide effective and timely information exchange on the terrorist watchlist or lookout data of participating countries on a reciprocal basis, using procedures that satisfy security concerns and are consistent with the privacy and other laws of those countries. Status report to be provided by the end of the year; implement by the 2005 Summit.

The G8 is working on a Statement of Principles on negotiating bilateral mechanisms for sharing terrorist screening information. The final statement will be completed by November 2005.

6. Agree to start providing information by December 2004 to an Interpol database that allows for real-time information sharing on lost and stolen international travel documents.

All G8 states are now providing information to Interpol's 'I-24/7' database on lost and stolen passports. We are working with Interpol and member governments to continue to improve the functionality and effectiveness of the system.

7. In carrying out the SAFTI initiative, share best practices on effective co-operation between intelligence and law enforcement officials.

The G8 has produced a handbook on the use and protection of intelligence information in criminal proceedings. We are reviewing this to determine if there are specialised areas where we can advance information sharing between intelligence and law enforcement.

Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) Threat Reduction

8. Accelerate efforts to destroy excess and/or obsolete MANPADS and provide assistance to do so where needed.

G8 members continue their efforts to destroy excess and obsolete MANPADS through their SA/LW destruction programs.

9. Work toward expedited adoption of the updated 2003 Wassenaar "Elements for Export Controls on MANPADS" as an international standard.

These standards have been adopted by the OSCE and the OAS. APEC has established guidelines based on the Wassenaar MANPADS work. ICAO now urges countries to adopt the principles of the Wassenaar elements.

10. Further strengthen controls on transfer of MANPADS production technology to deter marketing of MANPADS by countries that do not maintain strong standards of export controls. G8 countries are pursuing this issue on a bilateral basis.

11. Establish a best practices document, that can be adopted as an international standard, on optimal methods for securely storing MANPADS.

The G8 is working to add an annex on MANPADS stockpile security to the existing OSCE Best Practices manual for SA/LW.

12. Develop a methodology to be used by G-8 countries in assessing airport vulnerability to the MANPADS threat and effective countermeasures, taking into account the study conducted by ICAO.

The G8 has completed a MANPADS vulnerability assessment (MVA) methodology to determine the optimum design for effective ground-based MANPADS counter-measures in the vicinity of an airport. The development of this methodology usefully informed parallel work in ICAO, since posted on its secure website. Discussions at the G8 MANPADS experts workshop in Berlin (1-2 March 2005) showed that the guidance material developed by the G8 is a valuable instrument for conducting MVAs which is being successfully used in the G8-States.

13. Improve methods for enhancing MANPADS identification techniques and countermeasures against smuggling.

The G8 has produced a MANPADS Component Identification Guide to help governments stop MANPADS smuggling.

Capacity Building and Collaboration

14. Collaborate to improve methodologies, techniques and systems to analyse data on passengers, crew and cargo in advance of travel. Provide a status report by December 2004; where improved approaches are agreed, seek to begin to implement them by the 2005 Summit.

Work under action items 14 and 21 has been merged. Work on 14 is divided into its cargo and passenger elements, and both are making solid progress. Best practice papers will be prepared and discussed in November 2005.

15. Develop procedures, working with ICAO, to ensure that all states have proper inspection and enforcement regimes to ensure that airlines and airports are complying with international standards.

A best practice document on enhanced national quality control mechanisms for aviation security has been developed for use by G8 Member States in their bilateral engagements with third countries. It is also to be shared with ICAO to help shape international best practice and promote worldwide implementation.

16. Establish a Point-of-Contact network for the communication of imminent threats to civilian air transportation and urgent security requests, and guidelines for responding.

A G8 aviation security emergency Point of Contact Network has been established and tested. We will continue testing the Network periodically to ensure its credibility and effectiveness among G8 Member States. It is intended to expand the Network to include all 188 Member States of ICAO, which has agreed to host the Network on a secure website.

17. Accelerate efforts to develop best practices and procedures for air and ground countermeasures, including the training, qualification and use of guards and sky marshals, as appropriate; examine how to work within ICAO and CTAG to share expertise and information with others. Begin implementation of these agreed best practices and procedures by December 2004; finalise in 2005.

G8 Member States brought to ICAO a set of principles and best practices for countries that use sky marshals. ICAO is now poised to adopt a standard and extensive guidance on the use of sky marshals.

18. Examine ways and means to collaborate, on a reciprocal basis, on the forward placement of document advisors, where this will effectively contribute to aviation security and where mutually acceptable and bilateral arrangements are worked out.

A survey of current practices in G8 member states will be finalised in November 2005.

19. Develop arrangements to ensure that passengers and their hold and cabin bags, once screened, are protected from unlawful interference, through the deployment of a "layered security" regime comprising background checks on staff; robust physical access controls; and arrangements to limit access to screened passengers and their bags to persons who are subject to an appropriate security system. Seek to finalise plans in 2005 for implementing the regime.

The G8 has completed a best practices document, for use in Members' bilateral engagements with third countries, on ensuring that passengers and their hold and cabin bags, once screened, and aircraft once security checked, are protected from unlawful interference. The paper will also be forwarded to the ICAO secretariat to help shape international best practice.

20. Work to develop and promote cost effective, robust flight deck security, first by pressing for full compliance by October 2004 by all States with the requirements of the ICAO Standards for all passenger aircraft of over 45.5 metric tons or more than 60 passenger seats to be fitted with reinforced flight deck doors, and then by examining ways to reinforce flight deck security, including reinforced bulkheads. All such carriers flying within G-8 airspace should be compliant on flight deck door security by October 2004. Provide progress report on bulkhead security study by 2005 Summit.

The G8 completed the first part of this project by determining that airlines using G8 airports are compliant with ICAO standards for enhanced flight deck door security. Best practice guidance on securing compliance with these standards, including advice on interim compensating measures, has since been produced, for use bilaterally and for sharing with the ICAO secretariat to help shape international best practice.

21. Identify and adopt best practices within the G-8, and then promote these practices internationally, to ensure that appropriate information regarding passengers in transit is provided to the transit state from the immediately preceding departure state.

See action item 14.

22. Study and assess the need for, and the feasibility of, developing guidelines similar to ICAO Standards of Aviation Security for possible application to General Aviation and corporate/Business Aviation operations in order to enhance security regulations.

The G8 determined that no additional work was needed since ICAO has addressed standards for General Aviation and Corporate/ Business Aviation in Amendment 11 to Annex 17, which was adopted by the ICAO Aviation Security Panel in March/April 2005 and is now being considered within the further ICAO processes.

23. Endorse and promote mechanisms for frequent consultation with public and private sector transportation security stakeholders.

The G8 has produced a best practices document which we will forward to the ICAO secretariat for possible inclusion in the Security Manual. It will also be forwarded to IATA/CAWG.

24. Expand research and development collaboration on biometric technologies, working with ICAO, to develop for practical implementation a next-generation passenger control concept. Show progress by 2005.

The G8 continues to monitor the ongoing and excellent work in ICAO, and will offer its expertise if they are required or requested.

25. Examine ways and means to further improve, simplify and expedite visa procedures to enhance security and facilitate legitimate travel when acceptable to the receiving state.

The G8 is developing a comprehensive work plan to address this action item. The work plan will be completed by November 2005.

26. Assess and reduce terrorism-related risk in the maritime domain through focused cooperative efforts, beginning with voluntary self audits and the development of a port facilities security auditing methodology and checklist among the G-8 and within the International Maritime Organisation, taking into account the concept of the ICAO audit program for aviation security.

The G8 has developed a methodology and checklist for the auditing of port and maritime security. This product was amended and adopted as Interim Guidance by the IMO's 79th Maritime Safety Committee in December 2004, and is numbered as MSC/Circular 1131. G8 members will conduct self audits and share experience in order to prepare recommendations for the IMO, with European members coordinating through the European Commission, on possible amendments to the checklist and guidance.

27. Endorse increased support for capacity building through CTAG to willing states to improve their travel document approval and issuance systems, and border controls.

CTAG has agreed to facilitate implementation of ICAO document security standards and practices. CTAG has also reviewed efforts by regional organizations to adopt the ICAO standards. At the urging of various G8 members, most regions have addressed or are now addressing the issue in regional organisations.

28. Undertake, through CTAG, to examine how the G-8 and other states or organisations can assist states in meeting and sustaining these new security requirements.

By facilitating assistance CTAG is working hard to promote SAFTI standards.

(end text)

30 June 2005

U.S. Describes Progress on G8 Travel Security Initiative

State Department reports 18 of 28 projects to foil terrorism completed so far

The U.S. State Department has issued a fact sheet about the Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative (SAFTI), which is designed to enhance the security and efficiency of travel.

The ambitious two-year counterterrorism initiative, adopted at the 2004 Group of Eight (G8) nations summit held in the United States at Sea Island, Georgia, is facilitating the exchange of security related travel information, improving screening methods for travelers and cargo, enhancing travel document security, and expanding travel security cooperation in areas such as protection from hijackers and man-portable air defense systems, according to the fact sheet.

The G8 nations -- the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia – are conducting their 2005 annual economic and political summit of the heads of state July 6-8 in Gleneagles, Scotland. (For additional information, see G8 Summit 2005, Gleneagles, Scotland.)  

Following is the text of the fact sheet:

(begin fact sheet)

Fact Sheet
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C.
June 30, 2005

Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative

President Bush and his G-8 counterparts significantly advanced counterterrorism cooperation in 2005 through implementation of the Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative (SAFTI), an ambitious two-year counterterrorism agenda adopted under U.S. leadership at the 2004 Sea Island Summit.

SAFTI established principles that are the basis for 28 specific projects designed to enhance the security and efficiency of travel. SAFTI implementation is increasing and facilitating the exchange of security related travel information; improving screening methods for travelers and cargo; enhancing travel document security and ease of use; and expanding travel security cooperation in areas such as protection from hijackers and man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS.)

Under the United Kingdom's G-8 Presidency, U.S. and partner G-8 experts have worked aggressively to complete 18 of 28 SAFTI projects to date, with 5 more to be finished by the end of the 2005. The remaining projects primarily address longer-term efforts to keep MANPADS out of the hands of terrorists.

The G-8 has already exported the results of several completed SAFTI projects to international standard setting bodies, including standards and practices for improving travel document security, strengthening port and maritime security, and reducing the vulnerability of airports to the threat of MANPADS.

(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)