Authority to Carry Scheme introduced by the Home Office

A new piece of legislation has been passed which is designed to identify people who may pose a threat and prevent them from travelling to the UK.

Last year, the Home Office ran a consultation directed at the airline industry and other interested parties to gather views on the introduction of an ‘Authority to Carry’ scheme.  The proposals were met with a positive response and accordingly the Scheme is now being implemented.

The enabling piece of legislation is the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, s 162(1).

What Has Changed?

From 18 July 2012, the Order SI 2012/1887 will allow the Secretary of State to make regulations authorising him to require a person (a “carrier”) to pay a penalty if the carrier brings an unauthorised passenger into the UK.

The Scheme will prevent certain individuals who would be refused entry or admission at the UK border, from travelling to the UK.  It applies to the following passengers travelling on flights to the UK:

  • third country nationals
  • EEA nationals and accompanying/joining third country national family members of EEA nationals who are the subject of an exclusion or deportation order under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 because they pose a threat to public security
  • individuals who are the subject of a UN or an EU (AQ list) Travel Ban

Air passenger carriers will be denied authority to carry these individuals and could be fined up to £10,000 if they bring to the UK someone they didn’t seek authority to carry or were denied authority to carry.


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