EU’s Entry/Exit System to Worsen UK-French Border Congestion
According to a new report, UK passengers waiting at the French border may anticipate their wait to more than double when digital inspections for non-EU travellers are implemented.
Because of the Entry/Exit System (EES), millions of non-EU travellers will have their pictures taken and fingerprints collected and stored on the EU’s database. The approach is intended to make border crossings easier, but data must be collected for each non-EU travellers.
Though the system will replace the manual stamping of passports, a report by the Cour des Comptes, France’s public finance watchdog, estimated the initial registration of travellers into the system will at least double the queuing time. After passing through the kiosks, travellers will need to show their passports to border officials.
The report suggests that potential disruption could cause more people to travel across the continent by plane.
More than 500 “data kiosks” and 250 tablets have been ordered by France to process travellers, including passengers in their cars on ferries, in the hope that queues at airports, stations and ports will be reduced when the EU’s Entry/Exit System begins.
Trials have suggested that the new system could add two minutes to each person passing through the border, whether arriving by air or sea.
After Brexit, UK travellers entering the Schengen area are classified as non-EU traveller and will need to comply with data and documents collection.
The scheme isn’t coming into play just yet, and it’s already been delayed a couple of times. It’s now thought that the EU is waiting until after the Paris Olympics 2024 before launching the scheme.
It looks like its eventual implementation is inevitable though, so prepare yourself for some pretty long queues.
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