Security services to check bus and rail passengers' details

Belgium has plans to extend Passenger Name Records to international bus and train services operating in Belgium.  At present airlines already provide the Belgian home ministry with this information.

It was after the Brussels attacks that the Belgian government decided that the security services should gain access to passenger lists including passport numbers and credit card details.  Initially the measure was only rolled out for air passengers, but now two pilot projects herald the start of information exchange of bus and rail passenger details. Eurostar and Flixbus are the first two operators to co-operate.

Home minister Jan Jambon: "Passenger details will be compared with our blacklists, lists of serious criminals.  In the event of a ‘hit’ the passenger will be removed from the vehicle forthwith!"

The measure is being introduced in consultation with the sector and the government hopes to convince operators of its worth.

Jan Jambon: "It's more complicated for rail and buses because you can buy a ticket just before you leave, but we don't want to disrupt travellers. The pilot starts after the summer and if successful will be extended.  At present no security service checks are made on Thalys passengers.

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