Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD)
Council Regulation (EC) No 693/2003 of 14 April 2003 establishing a specific Facilitated Transit Document (FTD), a Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD) and amending the Common Consular Instructions and the Common Manual.
This Regulation establishes a Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) and a Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD) for the specific and direct transit by land of third country nationals who must necessarily cross the territory of one or more Member States of the European Union (EU) in order to travel between two parts of their own country which are not geographically contiguous.
Scope and validity
The FTD and the FRTD have the same value as transit visas and are territorially valid for the issuing Member State. The FTD is valid for a maximum period of up to three years and transit based on the FTD will not exceed 24 hours. The FRTD is valid for a maximum period of up to three months and transit based on the FRTD will not exceed six hours.
No FTD/FRTD can be affixed in a travel document that has expired or with a period of validity shorter than that of the FTD/FRTD.
Conditions and issuing procedure
In order to obtain an FTD/FRTD, the applicants must meet the following conditions:
possess a valid document, authorising them to cross external borders;
not be persons for whom an alert has been issued for the purposes of refusing entry;
not be considered to be a threat to public policy or the international relations of any of the Member States;
for the FTD, have valid reasons for frequent travelling between the two parts of the territory of their country.
The application for an FTD/FRTD is presented to the consular authorities of a Member State. This procedure provides for the submission of documentation demonstrating the need for frequent travel, such as documents concerning family links or social, economic or other motives.
The fee corresponding to the administrative costs of processing the application for an FTD is EUR 5. The FRTD is issued free of charge.
Issuing and refusal of the document
The FTD/FRTD are issued by the consular offices of the Member States and may not be issued at the border.
The procedures, and appeal in cases where the consular post of a Member State refuses to examine an application or issue an FTD/FRTD, are governed by national law of the respective Member State. If an FTD/FRTD is refused, the reason will be communicated to the applicant, where required by national law.
Penalties are imposed on the holder of the FTD/FRTD in case of misuse. Such penalties will be effective, proportionate and dissuasive, and include the possibility of cancelling or revoking the FTD/FRTD.
Member States deciding to issue the FTD and the FRTD will communicate this decision to the Council and the Commission and the latter will publish it in the Official Journal. If Member States decide to stop issuing the FTD and the FRTD they will communicate that decision to the Council and the Commission and the latter will publish it in the Official Journal.
The Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the FTD/FRTD scheme at the latest three years after the entry into force of the first decision taken by a Member State to issue FTD/FRTD.
Key terms used in the act
- Facilitated Transit Document (FTD): a specific authorisation allowing for a facilitated transit, which may be issued by Member States for multiple entries by whatever means of land transport. The FTD will be issued in the form of uniform formats in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 694/2003.
- Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD): a specific authorisation allowing for facilitated transit, which may be issued by Member States for a single entry and return by rail. The FRTD will be issued in the form of uniform formats in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 694/2003.
ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 693/2003
L 99 of 17.4.2003
Council Regulation (EC) No 694/2003 of 14 April 2003 on uniform formats for Facilitated Transit Documents (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Documents (FRTD) provided for in Regulation (EC) No 693/2003 [Official Journal L 99, 17.04.2003].
FTD/FRTD are produced in the form of a uniform format (sticker) and have the same value as transit visas. They conform to the specifications set out in Annexes I and II to the Regulation. Further technical specifications for FTD and FRTD are established relating to additional security requirements (including anti-forgery) and technical processes and rules for the filling in of the uniform FTD/FRTD. These specifications are not published.
Last updated: 22.05.2007