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European Union took decision to introduce an entry-exit system

21 October 2023 23:05 (UTC+04:00)
European Union took decision to introduce an entry-exit system

The European Union has decided to introduce a new inspection system at the borders of the Union's countries, where visa stamps will be replaced by digital checks. EU representatives reached a consensus on the new system at a meeting of the Interior Council in Luxembourg, Dutch News, Azernews reports.

The Entry-Exit System (EES) will be an automated registration system for UK and other non-EU travellers who don't require a visa to enter the EU. Travellers will need to scan their passports or other travel document at a self-service kiosk each time they cross an EU external border. It will not apply to legal residents or those with long stay visas. The system will register the traveller's name, biometric data, and the date and place of entry and exit. Facial scans and fingerprint data will be retained for three years after each trip.

The EES is being introduced to bolster border security and identify travellers who overstay their permitted time in the Schengen Area (90 days within a 180 day period). It will apply when entering all EU member states, apart from Cyprus and Ireland, as well as four non-EU countries in the Schengen Area: Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The Entry-Exit System was originally slated to launch in 2022, but has faced multiple delays. The airline industry have supported the delays as they give more time for preparations to be made. Some media outlets are now reporting that the system won't be effective until 2025, though the European Commission has not confirmed this news.

The EES is connected to the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). This new scheme obligates non-EU citizens who do not require an EU visa to gain travel authorisation to enter the bloc. The visa waiver will be mandatory for anyone wishing to visit the Schengen Area short term. ETIAS was originally set to be operational from November 2023, but the European Commission now states that it will come into force in 2024.

The new Entry-Exit System and European Travel Information and Authorisation System will be a game changer for how the EU's borders are managed. It is hoped that the scanners will spell an end to the inconsistent passport stamping that non-EU nationals living in EU countries have experienced, while also providing enhanced security and detection of stolen identities.

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