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European directive

European Directive: Compulsory Insurance and Schengen visa

COUNCIL DECISION of 22 December 2003amending Part V, parag 1.4, of the Common Consular Instructions and Part I, point 4.1.2 of the Common Manual on including a travel medical insurance as one of the supporting documents required to obtain standard visa.
(Official Journal N L 005 of 09/01/2004 p. 0079 – 0080))

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 789/2001 of 24 April 2001 reserving to the Council implementing powers with regard to certain detailed provisions and practical procedures for reviewing visa applications (1),
Pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 790/2001 of 24 April 2001 reserving to the Council implementing powers with regard to certain detailed provisions and practical procedures for carrying out border checks and surveillance (2),
Pursuant to the initiative of the Hellenic Republic,

Whereas:
(1) Point 22 of the Tampere European Council conclusions stressed that ‘a common active policy on visas and forged paperwork should be further developed, including closer cooperation between EU consulates in third countries’
(2) An essential condition for the application of a common policy on issuing visas is the bes possible alignment of conditions of visa issuance, in particular as regards the supporting documents relating to financial means to live which are submitted in support of applications.
(3) It is necessary for visa applicants to hold, among the supporting documents they are required to produce, proof of individual or group travel insurance to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment during their stay in the territory of the Member States that fully apply the provisions of the Schengen Acquis.
(4) Applicants should in principle take out insurance in their State of residency. Where this is not possible, they should seek to obtain insurance in another country.
(5) It is advisable to provide for the possibility of exceptions to the requirement to hold a travel insurance in the case of holders of diplomatic, official duty and other official passports and to provide for the possibility of establishing under the local consular cooperation, that nationals of certain third States should not have to comply with this requirement. In addition, it should be possible for the diplomatic or consular representative reviewing the application to waive this requirement in specific cases where considered appropriate.
(6) It is advisable for a comment to be mentioned in the national entries section of the visa sticker in order to make it clear whether the holder of the visa has been exempted from the requirement to have a travel insurance. The Common Manual should be amended to provide that where the holder cannot produce proof of such insurance at the border crossing point, the officer in charge should check whether such a comment has been mentioned.
(7) Pursuant to Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol for Denmark annexed to the Treaty on the European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark is not taking part in the adoption of this Decision, and is not bound by or subject to its application. Given that this Decision is based on the Schengen Acquis under the provisions of Title IV of Part Three of the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark will, pursuant to Article 5 of the said Protocol, decide within a period of six months after the adoption of this Decision by the Council whether it will be implemented in its national law.
(8) As regards the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway, this Decision constitutes a development of provisions of the Schengen Acquis within the meaning of the Agreement made by the Council of the European Union, the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway concerning the association of those two States with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen Acquis (3), which fall within the area referred to in Article 1, point A, of Council Decision 1999/437/EC on certain provisions for the application of that Agreement (4).
(9) This Decision constitutes a development of provisions of the Schengen Acquis in which the United Kingdom does not take part, pursuant to Council Decision 2000/365/EC of 29 May 2000 on the request of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to take part in some of the provisions of the Schengen Acquis (5); the United Kingdom is therefore not involved in its adoption and is not bound by or subject to its application.
(10) This Decision constitutes a development of provisions of the Schengen Acquis in which Ireland does not take part, pursuant to Council Decision 2002/192/EC of 28 February 2002 concerning Ireland’s request to take part in some of the provisions of the Schengen Acquis (6), Ireland is therefore not taking part in its adoption and is not bound by or subject to its application.
(11) This Decision constitutes an act based on the Schengen Acquis or otherwise related to it within the meaning of Article 3(2) of the 2003 Act of Accession,

HAS ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING DECISION:

Article 1
The following shall be added to the third subsection, after the words ‘(see Annex 7) (1);’, of the second subparagraph in 1.4 of Part V of the Common Consular Instructions:
‘In addition, in support of an application for a short-term or travel visa, applicants must show that they have a suitable and valid individual or group travel insurance to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment.
Applicants should in principle take out insurance in their State of residency. Where this is not possible, they should seek to obtain insurance in any other country. If the host take out insurance for the applicant, he should do this in his own place of residency.
The insurance must be valid throughout the territory of the Member States applying in full the provisions of the Schengen Acquis and cover the entire period of the person’s stay. The minimum cover amountshall be EUR 30,000.
In principle, the proof of this insurance shall be submitted at the time of issuance of visa.
The diplomatic mission or consular post competent to review a visa application may decide that this requirement has been met where it is established that an suitable level of insurance may be assumed in the light of the applicant’s professional situation.
Diplomatic missions or consular posts may, on an individual basis, decide to make an exception from this requirement for holders of diplomatic, official duty and other official passports, or when this protects national interests pertaining to foreign policy, development policy or other areas of vital public interest.
Exceptions from the requirement to produce proof of travel insurance may also be made when, under local consular cooperation, it has been established that it is impossible for nationals of some third States to take out such insurance.
When assessing whether an insurance is suitable, Member States may ascertain whether claims against the insurance company would be recoverable in a Member State, Switzerland or Liechtenstein;’.

Article 2
The following subparagraphs shall be added at the end of point 4.1.2 of Part I of the Common Manual:
‘Pursuant to Part V, point 1.4, second paragraph, third subsection of the Common Consular Instructions, applicants must show, in support of an application for a short-term or travel visa, that they are in possession of suitable and valid individual or group travel insurance to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment.
However, a third-country national subject to the visa requirement may have been exempted from the abovementioned requirement. In such cases, the diplomatic mission, consular representation or border control authority will affix a comment — “NO INSURANCE REQUIRED” — to that effect in the national entries section of the visa sticker.’

Article 3
This Decision is effective as from 1 June 2004.
This Decision is addressed to the Member States pursuant to the Treaty establishing the European Community.

Executed in Brussels, 22 December 2003.
For the Council
The President A. MATTEOLI

(1) OJ L 116, 26.4.2001, p. 2.
(2) OJ L 116, 26.4.2001, p. 5.
(3) OJ L 176, 10.7.1999, p. 36.
(4) OJ L 176, 10.7.1999, p. 31.
(5) OJ L 131, 1.6.2000, p. 43.
(6) OJ L 64, 7.3.2002, p. 20

 

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