In accordance with the Schengen Convention, the purpose of the Schengen Information System is to maintain public order and security, inclusive of state security on the territories of Member States (parties to the Convention) and application of the provisions of this Convention related to the movement of persons in these territories using information transmitted through this system. The SIS contains only those categories of data which are supplied by each of the contracting parties, as required for the purposes laid down in Articles 95 to 100. The contracting party issuing an alert shall determine whether the case is important enough to warrant entry of the alert in the Schengen Information System.

Data categories comprise:

  • persons for whom an alert has been issued as defined in Articles 95, 96, 97, 98 and 99 and
  • objects defined in Article 100 and vehicles defined in Article 99.

Only the following data for persons are indicated:

  • surname and forename, any aliases possibly registered separately;
  • any particular objective and permanent physical features;
  • first letter of second forename;
  • date and place of birth;
  • sex;
  • nationality;
  • whether the persons concerned are armed;
  • whether the persons concerned are violent;
  • reason for the alert;
  • action to be taken.

Categories of SIS alerts are as follows:

  • Article 95 - data relating to persons wanted for arrest for extradition purposes;
  • Article 96 - data relating to aliens who are reported for the purposes of being refused entry;
  • Article 97 - Data relating to persons who have disappeared or to persons who, in the interests of their own protection or in order to prevent threats require temporary police protection at the request of the competent authority or the competent judicial authority of the reporting Party;
  • Article 98 - Data relating to witnesses, persons summoned to appear before the judicial authorities in connection with criminal proceedings in order to account for acts for which they are being prosecuted, or persons who are to be notified of a criminal judgment or of a summons to appear in order to serve a custodial sentence;
  • Article 99 - Data relating to persons or vehicles for the purposes of discreet surveillance or specific checks
  • Article 100 - Data relating to objects sought for the purposes of seizure or of evidence in criminal proceedings.

If a contracting party considers that an alert in accordance with Articles 95, 97 or 99 is incompatible with its national law, its international obligations or essential national interests, it may subsequently flag the alert in question - add in the data file of the national section of the Schengen Information System a note to the effect that the action referred to will not be taken in its territory in connection with the alert. Consultations must be held in this connection with the other contracting parties. If the alerting contracting party does not withdraw the alert, it will continue to apply in full for the other contracting parties.

Access to data included in the Schengen Information System and the right to search such data directly is reserved exclusively for the authorities responsible for:

  • border checks;
  • other police and customs checks carried out within the country, and the co-ordination of such checks;
  • in addition, access to data included in accordance with Article 96 and the right to search such data directly may be exercised by the authorities responsible for issuing visas, the central authorities responsible for examining visa applications and the authorities responsible for issuing residence permits and the administration of aliens within the framework of the application of the provisions on the movement of persons under this Convention. Access to data shall be governed by the national law of each Contracting Party.
  • organizations competent for the registration of motor vehicles and issuing of registration plates;
  • competent judicial bodies of Member States and
  • EUROPOL, EUROJUST.