HL Deb 11 November 1999 vol 606 c218WA
Lord Monkswell

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether consultation is taking place with carriers prior to the implementation of the passenger information provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Bill. [HL4686]

Lord Bassam of Brighton

We anticipate that discussions with carriers or their representatives will commence in December. The purpose of these talks will be to esablish the means whereby information on passengers may be provided. We understand that some carriers may have concerns about the implications for them of the new passenger information provisions and we will endeavour to minimise as far as is possible the resource and administrative burden on them.

We would like to take this opportunity to clarify the scope of the power to require carriers to provide additional information. This will be capable of requiring carriers to provide information over and above what they currently collect. However, it will not be used to require carriers to provide information to which they do not have ready access. We recognise the constraints under which industry must operate and we will work closely with it to ensure that these are properly considered against operational need.

The passenger information provisions are an important element of the intelligence led approach to the operation of the immigration control. Not only will they enable the Immigration Service to make more efficient use of its resources but they will also benefit carriers, operators and the travelling public.