Denmark should not count on Germany for help with ID checks

Government’s carrier liability plan in jeopardy due to southern neighbour’s reluctance to participate

The Danish government should not expect help from Germany if it introduces the requirement that bus and train companies that cross the Danish-German border check passengers’ documents.

Hans Christian Schmidt, the transport minister, wrote last month to the German federal government and the governing administration of the Schleswig-Holstein region to ensure the German rail company Deutsche Bahn (DB) co-operates with DSB on a model that validates traveller IDs. The response from Germany was not encouraging.

“We have massive concerns about this, and we do not see any necessity for such action,” Schleswig-Holstein spokesperson Lars Erik Bethge wrote in a statement to Jyllands-Posten.

No help from carriers
If the recently-passed carrier responsibility law is implemented, transport companies can be hit with big fines if they carry passengers without valid identity papers across the border.

Both German rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the German company Aktiv Bus insist they want no part in checking passenger IDs.

“It is clear that DSB cannot carry out the necessary checks of passengers in Germany without the consent of DB,” wrote Bethge.