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B COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 539/2001
of 15 March 2001
listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external
borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement
(OJ L 81, 21.3.2001, p. 1)
Amended by:
Official Journal
No page date

M1
Council Regulation (EC) No 2414/2001 of 7 December 2001 L 327 1 12.12.2001

M2
Council Regulation (EC) No 453/2003 of 6 March 2003 L 69 10 13.3.2003

M3
Council Regulation (EC) No 851/2005 of 2 June 2005 L 141 3 4.6.2005

M4
Council Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006 of 20 November 2006 L 363 1 20.12.2006

M5
Council Regulation (EC) No 1932/2006 of 21 December 2006 L 405 23 30.12.2006

M6
Council Regulation (EC) No 1244/2009 of 30 November 2009 L 336 1 18.12.2009
Amended by:

A1
Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Czech Republic, the
Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia,
the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of
Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak
Republic and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the European
Union is founded
L 236 33 23.9.2003
Corrected by:

C1
Corrigendum, OJ L 29, 3.2.2007, p. 10 (1932/2006)
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1
COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 539/2001
of 15 March 2001
listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of
visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals
are exempt from that requirement
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and
in particular Article 62, point (2)(b)(i) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission (
1
),
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament (
2
),
Whereas:
(1)
Under Article 62, point (2)(b) of the Treaty, the Council is to
adopt rules relating to visas for intended stays of no more than
three months, and in that context it is required to determine the
list of those third countries whose nationals must be in possession
of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose
nationals are exempt from that requirement. Article 61 cites
those lists among the flanking measures which are directly
linked to the free movement of persons in an area of freedom,
security and justice.
(2)
This Regulation follows on from the Schengen acquis in
accordance with the Protocol integrating it into the framework
of the European Union, hereinafter referred to as the

Schengen
Protocol

. It does not affect Member States' obligations deriving
from the acquis as defined in Annex A to Decision 1999/435/EC
of 20 May 1999 concerning the definition of the Schengen acquis
for the purpose of determining, in conformity with the relevant
provisions of the Treaty establishing the European Community
and the Treaty on European Union, the legal basis for each of the
provisions or decisions which constitute the acquis (
3
).
(3)
This Regulation constitutes the further development of those
provisions in respect of which closer cooperation has been
authorised under the Schengen Protocol and falls within the
area referred to in Article 1, point B, of Decision 1999/437/EC
of 17 May 1999 on certain arrangements for the application of
the Agreement concluded by the Council of the European Union
and the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway
concerning the association of those two States with the imple­
mentation, application and development of the Schengen
acquis (
4
).
(4)
Pursuant to Article 1 of the Protocol on the position of the United
Kingdom and Ireland annexed to the Treaty on European Union
and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, Ireland
and the United Kingdom are not participating in the adoption of
this Regulation. Consequently and without prejudice to Article 4
of the aforementioned Protocol, the provisions of this Regulation
apply neither to Ireland nor to the United Kingdom.
(5)
The determination of those third countries whose nationals are
subject to the visa requirement, and those exempt from it, is

B
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2
(
1
) OJ C 177 E, 27.6.2000, p. 66.
(
2
) Opinion of 5 July 2000 (not yet published in the Official Journal).
(
3
) OJ L 176, 10.7.1999, p. 1.
(
4
) OJ L 176, 10.7.1999, p. 31.
governed by a considered, case-by-case assessment of a variety of
criteria relating
inter alia
to illegal immigration, public policy and
security, and to the European Union's external relations with third
countries, consideration also being given to the implications of
regional coherence and reciprocity. Provision should be made for
a Community mechanism enabling this principle of reciprocity to
be implemented if one of the third countries included in Annex II
to this Regulation decides to make the nationals of one or more
Member States subject to the visa obligation.
(6)
As the Agreement on the European Economic Area exempts
nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway from the visa
requirement, these countries are not included in the list in
Annex II hereto.
(7)
As regards stateless persons and recognised refugees, without
prejudice to obligations under international agreements signed
by the Member States and in particular the European
Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees, signed at
Strasbourg on 20 April 1959, the decision as to the visa
requirement or exemption should be based on the third country
in which these persons reside and which issued their travel
documents. However, given the differences in the national legis­
lation applicable to stateless persons and to recognised refugees,
Member States may decide whether these categories of persons
shall be subject to the visa requirement, where the third country
in which these persons reside and which issued their travel
documents is a third country whose nationals are exempt from
the visa requirement.
(8)
In specific cases where special visa rules are warranted, Member
States may exempt certain categories of persons from the visa
requirement or impose it on them in accordance with public
international law or custom.
(9)
With a view to ensuring that the system is administered openly
and that the persons concerned are informed, Member States
should communicate to the other Member States and to the
Commission the measures which they take pursuant to this Regu­
lation. For the same reasons, that information should also be
published in the
Official Journal of the European Communities
.
(10)
The conditions governing entry into the territory of the Member
States or the issue of visas do not affect the rules currently
governing recognition of the validity of travel documents.
(11)
In accordance with the principle of proportionality stated in
Article 5 of the Treaty, enacting a Regulation listing the third
countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when
crossing the external borders, and those whose nationals are
exempt from that requirement, is both a necessary and an appro­
priate means of ensuring that the common visa rules operate
efficiently.

M1
(12)
This Regulation provides for full harmonisation as regards the
third countries whose nationals are subject to the visa requirement
for the crossing of Member States' external borders and those
whose nationals are exempt from that requirement,

B
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3
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
Article 1
1. Nationals of third countries on the list in Annex I shall be required
to be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders of the
Member States.

M5

C1
Without prejudice to the requirements stemming from the European
Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees signed at Strasbourg
on 20 April 1959, recognised refugees and stateless persons shall be
required to be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders
of the Member States if the third country in which they are resident and
which has issued them with their travel document is a third country
listed in Annex I to this Regulation.

B
2.

M1
Nationals of third countries on the list in Annex II shall be
exempt from the requirement set out in paragraph 1 for stays of no more
than three months in all.


M5

C1
The following shall also be exempt from the visa requirement:

the nationals of third countries listed in Annex I to this Regulation
who are holders of a local border traffic card issued by the Member
States pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1931/2006 of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 laying down
rules on local border traffic at the external land borders of the
Member States and amending the provisions of the Schengen
Convention (
1
) when these holders exercise their right within the
context of the Local Border Traffic regime;

school pupils who are nationals of a third country listed in Annex I
and who reside in a Member State applying Council Decision
94/795/JHA of 30 November 1994 on a joint action adopted by
the Council on the basis of Article K.3.2.b of the Treaty on
European Union concerning travel facilities for school pupils from
third countries resident in a Member State (
2
) and are travelling in
the context of a school excursion as members of a group of school
pupils accompanied by a teacher from the school in question;

recognised refugees and stateless persons and other persons who do
not hold the nationality of any country who reside in a Member
State and are holders of a travel document issued by that Member
State.

B
3. Nationals of new third countries formerly part of countries on the
lists in Annexes I and II shall be subject respectively to the provisions
of paragraphs 1 and 2 unless and until the Council decides otherwise
under the procedure laid down in the relevant provision of the Treaty.

M3
4. Where a third country listed in Annex II introduces a visa
requirement for nationals of a Member State, the following provisions
shall apply:
(a) within 90 days of such introduction, or its announcement, the
Member State concerned shall notify the Council and the
Commission in writing; the notification shall be published in the
C series of the
Official Journal of the European Union
. The noti­
fication shall specify the date of implementation of the measure and
the type of travel documents and visas concerned.

B
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(
1
) OJ L 405, 20.12.2006, p. 1.
(
2
) OJ L 327, 19.12.1994, p. 1.
If the third country decides to lift the visa obligation before the
expiry of this deadline, the notification becomes superfluous;
(b) the Commission shall immediately after publication of that notifi­
cation and in consultation with the Member State concerned, take
steps with the authorities of the third country in order to restore
visa-free travel;
(c) within 90 days after publication of that notification, the
Commission, in consultation with the Member State concerned,
shall report to the Council. The report may be accompanied by a
proposal providing for the temporary restoration of the visa
requirement for nationals of the third country in question. The
Commission may also present this proposal after deliberations in
Council on its report. The Council shall act on such proposal by a
qualified majority within three months;
(d) if it considers it necessary, the Commission may present a proposal
for the temporary restoration of the visa requirement for nationals of
the third country referred to in subparagraph (c) without a prior
report. The procedure provided for in subparagraph (c) shall apply
to that proposal. The Member State concerned may state whether it
wishes the Commission to refrain from the temporary restoration of
such visa requirement without a prior report;
(e) the procedure referred to in subparagraphs (c) and (d) does not
affect the Commission

s right to present a proposal amending this
Regulation in order to transfer the third country concerned to Annex
I. Where a temporary measure as referred to in subparagraphs (c)
and (d) has been decided, the proposal amending this Regulation
shall be presented by the Commission at the latest nine months after
the entry into force of the temporary measure. Such a proposal shall
also include provisions for lifting of temporary measures, which
may have been introduced pursuant to the procedures referred to
in subparagraphs (c) and (d). In the meantime the Commission will
continue its efforts in order to induce the authorities of the third
country in question to reinstall visa-free travel for the nationals of
the Member State concerned;
(f) where the third country in question abolishes the visa requirement,
the Member State shall immediately notify the Council and the
Commission to that effect. The notification shall be published in
the C series of the
Official Journal of the European Union
.Any
temporary measure decided upon under subparagraph (d) shall
terminate seven days after the publication in the Official Journal.
In case the third country in question has introduced a visa
requirement for nationals of two or more Member States the termi­
nation of the temporary measure will only terminate after the last
publication.
5. As long as visa exemption reciprocity continues not to exist with
any third country listed in Annex II in relation to any of the Member
States, the Commission shall report to the European Parliament and the
Council before the 1 July of every even-numbered year on the situation
of non-reciprocity and shall, if necessary, submit appropriate proposals.

B
Article 2
For the purposes of this Regulation,

visa

shall mean an authorisation
issued by a Member State or a decision taken by such State which is
required with a view to:

entry for an intended stay in that Member State or in several
Member States of no more than three months in total,

M3
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-Source http://eur-lex.europa.eu
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