The Schengen Information System SIS

The SIS is a database containing alerts on stolen or missing objects and people who are wanted for extradition, are missing or are subject of an entry ban for a particular country.

Switzerland has had access to the European search database since 14 August 2008. The lifting of identity checks at the borders and full co-operation in the fields of asylum (Dublin Agreement) and visa matters (Schengen visas) became operational with the entry-into-force of the Schengen Association Agreement (SAA) on 12 December 2008.

Swiss authorities with access to SIS are: the cantonal police forces; the Border Guard Corps; the State Secretariat for Migration; the Federal Office of Justice; visa-issuing embassies and consulates abroad; cantonal migration offices and other authorities. On an international level, the police, border protection and visa authorities of 24 EU countries as well as Norway and Iceland have access to the database. The purpose of SIS is to provide all Schengen member states with national search data via a central information system. The database guarantees the accuracy of the information and provides member states throughout the Schengen area with search data minutes after a police agency has entered an alert.

SIS is currently undergoing modernisation by the EU. Each member state is responsible for developing its own technical infrastructure for operating the SIS database. In Switzerland, the Federal Office of Police has been assigned this task.

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