Schengen Borders Code precludes Germany from requiring coach companies to check passports

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Under German law, any coach transport operator providing a regular cross-border service within the Schengen area to Germany must check the passports and residence permits of the passengers before they cross the German border in order to prevent a transport of third-country nationals not in possession of those travel documents to German territory.

However, in its judgement of Dec 13, 2018, the CJEU held that Schengen Borders Code (in the version applicable in 2014) precluded the obligation to carry out checks at issue imposed on coach travel operators traveling to Germany and the issuing of orders prohibiting, subject to the imposition of a recurring fine, operators which infringed that obligation from providing any further transport services under the same conditions.

Since the checks at issue were carried out when the travellers board the coach at the start of the cross-border journey, they constituted checks within the territory of a Member State, which were prohibited where they have an effect equivalent to border checks.

Source: CJEU press release No 200/18 of Dec. 13, 2018

Cases: C-412/17 and C-474/17 - Bundesrepublik Deutschland v Touring Tours und Travel GmbH and Sociedad de Transportes SA