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Schengen Information System, also referred to as "SIS" (SIS)

Шенгенская Информационная Система, также именуемая как «SIS» (ШИС)

The Schengen Information System, also referred to as “SIS” (SIS), is a government security database system used by some European countries to maintain and disseminate information related to border security and legal measures.

The data to be collected is certain classes of civilians and their properties.

This information is distributed among the countries participating in the Schengen Agreement, initially they were France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Since its inception, several other countries: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Greece, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway - have joined the system.

Currently, the Schengen information system is used by 15 countries. It should be noted that among them only Iceland and Norway are not members of the European Union.

As for the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, which have not signed the Schengen Agreement, they participate in Schengen cooperation under the Amsterdam Treaty, which introduced the terms of Schengen accession to the European Union (it allows the UK and Ireland to participate in all or part of Schengen organizations subject to unanimous approval by the Council )

Ireland and the United Kingdom will mainly use SIS to enforce legal action.

They will not use the data of Article 96 because they are not going to implement a policy of free movement of civilians at the European level.

Database structure

SIS information is stored in accordance with the laws of each country.

It contains more than 15 million records containing the following information:

  • Surname.
  • Name.
  • Special signs.
  • The first letter of the second name.
  • Date of Birth.
  • Place of Birth.
  • Floor.
  • Citizenship.
  • Any aliases used.
  • Is there any reason to believe that this person is armed.
  • Is there any reason to believe that this person can show violence (aggression).
  • Grounds for alarm.
  • The action to be taken (in relation to the individual).
  • Lost, stolen or misappropriated firearms.
  • Lost, stolen or misappropriated identification documents.
  • Lost, stolen or misappropriated clean identification documents.
  • Lost, stolen or misappropriated motor vehicles.
  • Lost, stolen or misappropriated banknotes.

The second technical version of the system (SIS II) is under development in order to include new types of data and to unite the new Member States.

The system could be open with a large number of institutions, such as civil authorities, Europol and the security service.

Personal data could be read on one personal device - an assistant (this is a futuristic point of view, but this type of execution remains under the responsibility and technical capabilities of each Member State) throughout Europe, the police and customs during identity checks.

Some would like to capitalize on these technical changes in order to turn this system into an investigation system, but a large number of Member States want this system to remain a police verification system, leaving Europol with this role in the investigation.

Legal Aspects and Specifications

Starting March 25, 2001, fifteen States adopted the Schengen Agreement and removed police control at their internal borders.

Compensatory measures form the main part of the agreement, but the principal part, the basis of Schengen, is the creation of a common information system in the signatory states: the Schengen Information System (SIS).

As for police cooperation, this system is an innovator, both technically and legally.

First of all, legally , by recognizing the validity of the records transmitted by the Schengen partners, with the obligation of each State to respect the action that will be taken in accordance with the description, as well as the introduction of a device that can guarantee respect for personal freedoms and the protection of personal data.

Technically , the complete creation of an information processing system that is constantly connected with extremely different, diverse national applications, and having the need to update national databases in real time. The separation of personal data with the delegation of authority regarding the application of actions can only be done on the basis of mutual confidentiality, which is based on transparency.

In order to implement this, the states have signed an agreement guaranteeing the correctness, legality and timely update of the integrated data, as well as the use of these data only for the final measures presented as appropriate within the framework of the articles of the signed agreement.

SIS data

The information entered in the SIS relates to: wanted persons, for the purpose of transferring them to law enforcement authorities or extradition to the country from which they arrived; foreigners who are prohibited from entering the Schengen countries; missing or wanted people; witnesses evading contacts with law enforcement agencies; the accused; convicted; persons with respect to whom covert or special control is exercised.

The following person data can be entered in SIS: last name and first name; his special permanent physical characteristics; the first letter of the second name; Date and place of birth; citizenship; information about whether he is armed and can resist during detention; source of information about this person; the method that will be applied when it is detained.

The following person data cannot be contained in SIS: race; political views; religion or other personal data describing beliefs; health and sexual orientation information.

A person can obtain information contained in the SIS and relating to him personally, if this does not contradict the current legislation.

Data about a person can be entered into the system of another country to which the Schengen information system applies. In this case, the responsible officer of the Estonian Central Criminal Police must, before issuing these data, find out the point of view of the central institution responsible for the domestic part of the SIS of the respective state.

In any case, the refusal to issue the data requested by the person must be justified in writing.

It remains to add that SIS is not a public register.

Only authorized employees have access to SIS data.

Register data can only be used for purposes arising from the Schengen Convention.

The maximum period during which data can be stored in SIS is ten years.

Any person has the right to demand to correct or delete from the SIS data relating to him, if, in his opinion, they are incorrect or illegally entered into the register.