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Launch Of EU Border Entry System Postponed Until End Of 2023 Spain News

The European Union has announced that its Entry-Exit System (EES) has once again been delayed.

Countries from within the Schengen Area will tighten security at the external borders by introducing the new digital system, so as to record the entry and exit of all non-EU visitors.

The travel system which includes taking biometric data, including taking fingerprints at the border from non-EU visitors, was due to begin in May 2023 after already being pushed back from 2022.

However, this week it was announced that the new system will not in fact be ready for its May launch. The EU has said that although the date has been moved, the system will be still be launched “by the end of 2023.

According to travel site TTGmedia, the decision to delay the launch was decided at an EU meeting last week in Tallinn, where it was established that the May 2023 target “was considered no longer achievable due to delays from the contractors.

It was said that airports and port authorities on the northern French coast, should continue to prepare for a target rollout date “within the end of 2023”.

In particular, border crossing points should be fully equipped for the use of the Entry/Exit System by the end of the year,” read a synopsis from the meeting.

A more detailed timeline for the initiation is expected to be revealed sometime in March.

Travel bosses had previously warned of the delays that the EES could cause at both ports and airports, as it is probable that non-EU citizens will be required to be fingerprinted and photographed at the border.

Once the system is introduced, British travellers will be registered each time they cross a border in or out of the EU or Schengen area. It will replace the manual stamping of passports on arrival and departure.

Governments across Europe have also expressed their concerns and fears, saying that the new system will cause long delays at borders, in particular at the UK-France border. The boss from the port of Dover predicts “tailbacks throughout Kent.

What is the EES?

It is essentially an upgrade of security, where border guards with stamps will be replaced by an electronic swipe in/swipe out system. This will register more details such as immigration status. It will not apply to legal residents or those with long-stay visas.

The system will digitally track the number of days non-EU citizens spend in the union, in order to make sure people do not stay longer than the permitted 90 days in any 180-day period, in the Schengen area.

It does not apply if you are travelling between France and Germany for example, yet it will apply if you are entering an EU or Schengen zone country from a non-EU country. For example, if you are travelling to France from the UK, via the Channel Tunnel, or if you are flying from the US to Germany.

It will be enforced when entering all EU member states, aside from Cyprus and Ireland, as well as four non-EU countries in the Schengen Area, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.