There will be two new border controls for travellers entering the EU, but officials may separate them. [+] to make matters simpler. Under two new border control schemes, the process of entering Europe will shortly change for all non-EU passport holders. It has been reported that an EU non-working group has examined the possibility of decoupling the two programs, indicating they may be implemented at different times.
Here is what you need to know about the new border controls and the potential impact this may have on non-EU travellers entering Europe beyond the end of the year.
ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorization System, is scheduled to go live in November 2023.
ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorization System, will require non-European visitors to register for a visa exemption before entering a participating European country.
Similar to the ESTA scheme in the United States, non-U.S. passport holders will be required to register for a $7 charge before entering Europe. The right of entry will be valid for three years, after which travellers must resubmit.
Affected travellers include those from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.
Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland are the 26 participating Schengen states. A small number of EU member states, including Ireland and Cyprus, will not be included in the scheme’s first version.
The ETIAS scheme was scheduled to be released alongside the EES in November 2023, just a few months from now.
The EES, the Entry and Exit Scheme, was scheduled to be implemented in 2023 but has been postponed until possibly after the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
The Entry and Exit System (EES) is a novel system that will scan travellers’ fingerprints and faces as they pass through electronic gates at the Schengen border. It is intended to supplant passport stamps in the future.
It was originally scheduled to take effect in 2020 but was ultimately deferred until November 2023. Due to the significant delays caused by technical issues, France has requested that both schemes be postponed until after the Olympic Games are held in Paris in the summer of 2024. This is for obvious reasons, as a large number of people are expected to attend, and a glitch in any new system would severely impede people’s access.
EES and ETIAS could be decoupled and implemented at different times.
Given that the 2024 Olympic Games will be held in Europe, in Paris, and that there are delays in the technological delivery of the schemes, it seems logical that any border controls would be delayed until after an extra million people have passed through EU borders next summer—it wouldn’t make for great headlines at the Olympics if there were delays at the airports due to tech issues for something unrelated to sport.
There is now a proposal to separate the two systems and implement ETIAS before EES.
There are several issues surrounding the decoupling, including whether countries are content with the fact that travellers cannot be checked against all available databases upon entrance, as will be the case when both systems are operational.
According to the report, if the plans are approved, a decoupling could occur by May 2024, which is when the ETIAS would become available to travellers. The EES would be implemented once the first scheme was operational. Most likely, a decision will be reached in October.