EU could delay fingerprint and biometric checks on Brits until end of next year

By Lisa James
Home » EU could delay fingerprint and biometric checks on Brits until end of next year

Post-Brexit fingerprint and facial biometric checks on British travellers may not come into force until the end of 2024, according to reports.

The Independent claims the Entry/Exit System (EES), has been pushed back further and now won’t be introduced this year ‘because the database on which it depends will not be ready in time’.

The EES had originally been due to launch in 2021 and has been delayed several times. The most recent was in January, when it was given a new start date of November 2023.

“The earliest possible date for the checks to be brought in is now believed to be May 2024, but that option is meeting stiff opposition from Paris, which is hosting the summer Olympics from 26 July to 11 August next year,” the Independent reports.

The newspaper says most likely date is November 2024, which is after the Games and an ‘annual low point for the volume of international travellers’.

It says an official announcement about the postponement is expected to follow after the next meeting of the management board of EU-LISA, the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.

That meeting is due to take place on 31 May.

Earlier this year, the European Commission said the Electronic Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) visa waiver for non-EU passport holders travelling within Shenghen Area countries – which relies on the EES to be fully functional – would not be introduced before 2024.

Recent border delays and concern over the impact of EES led Orient Express operator Belmond to announce this week that it is scrapping the UK leg of the Venice Simplon Orient Express train later this year.

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