DG HOME launches the technical working group on performance requirements for threat detection equipment used to protect public spaces

04 November 2020

Security screening and detection technologies

The European Commission, Directorate for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) has launched an important initiative concerning “Performance requirements for threat detection equipment used to protect public spaces”. This initiative falls within the lines of DG HOME policy to counter terrorism and radicalisation, and specifically under the sub-topic of “Protection”. A central element of the fight against terrorism is to support the Member States in protecting European society and critical infrastructures from attack. Those efforts involve a broad spectrum of governmental, private, and non-government partners. Specific areas of focus include the prevention of terrorist attacks using chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) materials, the protection of public spaces, explosives and explosives precursors, and critical infrastructure protection (CIP) and resilience. Besides facilitating networks of experts cooperating on these topics, the Commission works to track threats and develop guidance to Member States.

Threat detection equipment is used in a wide range of sectors, including – but not limited to – law enforcement, border security, customs, post services, transport, prisons, government buildings and large sports / entertainment events. However, since there are no harmonised European performance requirements or test methods for detection equipment outside areas where aviation standards apply, the equipment used in public areas can be of unknown and varying efficacy.

To overcome this shortcoming, the European Commission is launching a technical working group supporting a voluntary scheme for EU performance requirements of threat-detection equipment used to protect public spaces. This group will support a voluntary scheme for performance requirements of detection equipment used in public spaces outside areas where aviation standards apply and it will implement, through 2020 and 2021, the practical steps towards defining harmonised performance requirements of the detection equipment and related verification mechanisms.

The voluntary scheme will be open to all interested manufacturers of detection equipment who are willing to test the equipment they make available in the EU against an agreed level of performance.

The voluntary scheme will not only contribute to the protection of public spaces and to the wider efforts to improve the detection and prevention of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives incidents, but it will also bring more clarity for industry about the threats that their equipment should be able to detect.


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