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PNR in Poland – first verdicts of the Supreme Administrative Court favourable for air carriers

In May 2024, the Supreme Administrative Court (NSA) issued first two verdicts dealing with fines for not providing PNR data imposed by the Polish Border Guard. Both verdicts are favourable for the air carriers and resulted in full cancellation of imposed administrative fines.

Court agrees with complainants’ arguments

Written justifications of these verdicts are not yet available; however, it seems that the Supreme Administrative Court, but it appears that it agreed with the complainants’ arguments about the incompatibility of Polish provisions on the transfer of PNR data with the European Directive 2016/681 (PNR Directive) in relation to intra-EU flights.

first two verdicts dealing with fines for not providing PNR data imposed by the Polish Border Guard

Inconsistency with EU Law confirmed

National regulations that obligate air carriers to transfer PNR data in all intra-EU flights were deemed inconsistent with the EU law by the verdict of the Court of Justice of the European Union verdict of 21 June 2022 (C-817/19). The intra-EU transfer of PNR data should, according to the Court, be limited to specific travel itineraries or airports selected on the basis of a real terrorist and criminal threat.

Positive signal for Air Carriers

The verdicts are a positive signal for air carriers challenging decisions imposing administrative penalties on them for failing to provide PNR data for intra-EU flights, especially as the reasoning behind the C-817/19 judgment has not always been accepted by provincial administrative courts.

Subsequent rulings of the Supreme Administrative Court in PNR transfer cases are expected to reinforce this position, helping to shape the line of case law on intra-EU flights.

Author team leader DKP Legal anna szymielewicz
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