New EU checks for Brits delayed until after summer

By Lisa James
18/01/2023
Home » New EU checks for Brits delayed until after summer

Plans to introduce new checks on non-European Union travellers passing EU borders have been pushed back until the end of the year.

The Entry/Exit System (EES) of checks had been due to come into force in May 2023, ahead of the busy summer travel period.

But the EU said the May date was ‘no longer achievable’ because of delays with contractors.

There had been warnings the new system, which includes fingerprint and facial recognition checks as well as passport checks, could mean Brits may take up to four times longer to get through EU borders this summer.

The Independent reported last year that some countries said the new process could take up to four times longer and Port of Dover Chief Executive Doug Bannister warned the Transport Select Committee that checkpoint times for motorists leaving the UK could increase seven-fold.

The UK Government confirmed the system has been delayed in a House of Commons Library entry on Tuesday.

The Commons entry said the EES, which had initially been scheduled for 2022 and was then delayed until May 2023, has now been pushed back to December.

When it does come in, the system will apply to Brits entering 25 EU countries – all members states except Italy and Cyprus –  as well as four non-EU countries (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein) that are part of the border-free Schengen area along with most EU Member States.

It will run in conjunction with the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) visa waiver system.

The ETIAS is a travel authorisation to enter the EU for citizens of non-EU countries, including the UK, that do not require a visa to enter the EU.

The ETIAS was also initially planned to be introduced last year but is now scheduled to be in operation by November 2023.

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