INTERPOL Rules of Procedure

INTERPOL’s rules on the processing of data are contained in III/RPD/GA/2011 (2016) “(“the Rules”).

Following a Preamble, which sets out definitions, aims, subject and scope of the Rules (Articles 1-4), Title 1 sets out a number of ‘General Principles’, pertaining to:

  • Principles concerning international police co-operation (Articles 5-9); and
  • Principles concerning information processing (Articles 10-18).

Title 2 outlines the ‘Participants’ in the processing of INTERPOL data, namely, NCBs (Articles 19-21), the General Secretariat (Article 22-26), and relations with international and private entities (Article 27-28).

Title 3 states the procedures for processing data, and addresses:

  • Police databases, namely relating to authorisation (Articles 29-33), functioning (Articles 34-53), consultation (Article 54-61), use of data (Article 62- 67) and specific rules relating to crime analysis files (Article 68-72);
  • Notices and diffusions (Articles 73-81);
  • Provisions specific to Red Notices (Articles 82-87);
  • Provisions specific to other notices: blue, green, yellow, black, public notices, orange, stolen work of art notices, INTERPOL-United Nations Security Council Special Notices and other special notices (Articles 88-96);
  • Diffusions (Articles 97-101);
  • Notices and Diffusions published at the imitative of the General Secretariat (Articles 102-103); and
  • Positive Query Results (Articles 104-106).

Chapter 3 of Title 3 addresses data security and in particular:

  • Management of rights of access to the INTERPOL information system (Articles 107-111);
  • Confidentiality (Articles 112-114);
  • Management of the security system (Articles 115-117); and
  • Security incidents (Articles 118-119).

Title 4 provides provisions on supervision and monitoring, including:

  • Types of supervision (Articles 120-124);
  • Supervisory tools (Articles 125-127); and
  • Supervision measures (Articles 128-131).

Title 5 provides final provisions on:

  • Processing for any other legitimate purpose (Articles 132-135).

Contesting INTERPOL Red Notices

On 11 March 2017, the procedure for contesting INTERPOL Red Notices changed, following the introduction of a new Statute of the Commission for INTERPOL’s Files [ILE/RCIA/GA/2016] (“2016 Statute”), which replaced the former rules which dated to 2009 [ILE/RCIA/GA/2009] (“2009 Statute”).

Note that references in the 2016 Statute to “Requests Chamber” replaces references in the 2009 statute to the “Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files”.
By way of summary, the changes include:

  •  The Requests Chamber now receives all requests from applicants for access, therefore there are no circumstances in which the General Secretariat would be required to forward the request to the Requests Chamber.
  • Clarity over when the Requests Chamber is to acknowledge receipt of the request from the applicant and to inform them of the procedure and timeframe (“at the earliest possibility”).
  • The Requests Chamber will examine the admissibility of each request “at the earliest opportunity” and not later than one month from its receipt.