EU Entry/Exit System To Cause Delay At UK Border

EU Entry/Exit System To Cause Delay At UK Border

The European Union (EU) has long been planning to introduce new and updated requirements for non-EU nationals to provide fingerprints and digitalised travel authorization to enter member states. 

Despite several delays and setbacks, the system is set to go live in autumn 2024.

Preparations are underway at major Channel crossing points for the new automated European Union border IT system, known as the Entry/Exit System (EES), despite fears of long queues for British holidaymakers. Under the EES, non-EU nationals, including British nationals, will have to register biometric information the first time they cross the border. This has prompted concerns about significant delays.

Imagine planning your ideal European getaway, only to find yourself stuck in a seemingly endless queue at the border. This could be the reality for many UK travellers as the EU prepares to roll out this new scheme.

However, tens of millions of pounds are being invested in equipment and processing areas at Dover’s ferry port, Eurostar’s London St Pancras terminus, and Eurotunnel’s Folkestone site to mitigate potential issues.

How Will the EU Entry/Exit System (EES) Affect UK Borders?

The EU Entry/Exit System will take over many of the present customs operations by utilising a variety of data gathering, processing, and exchange techniques throughout the Schengen Zone.

The main worry for operators and travellers will be an increase in the frequency and duration of delays.

Dover plans to process coaches separately from cars and eventually reclaim a dock from the sea to create more space. Eurostar will also expand into new areas of St Pancras station to accommodate new kiosks. Air travellers will provide their biometric information upon landing at European airports. 

Passports will no longer be stamped under the automated system, but fingerprints and photographs will be required. Travellers would also have to answer certain questions related to their trip.

As a result of the registration process having to be completed in person at the port or station, there have been several warnings of delays.

While the scheme is meant to speed up formerly manual passport formalities, it is unclear whether its introduction in October will be as smooth as expected.

As the clock ticks down to the introduction of the EU Entry/Exit System (EES) later this year, UK travellers are bracing for a new era of border control.

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