British nationals traveling to and from EU countries from May 2022 onwards will no longer have their passports stamped, as information on their entry or exit date will be recorded through a new automated system.
The European Union’s entry/exit system (EES) is set to be fully operational in May next year, although it has been reported that the EES may experience some delays.
The system will record entry and exit data and refuse entry data for third-country nationals who cross the external borders of the European Union, including Britons here, which means that the passport stamp will become unnecessary.
“The EES will replace the current system for manual stamping of passports, which is time consuming, does not provide reliable data on border crossings and does not allow for regular detection of overstay (passengers who have exceeded the maximum length of their authorized stay),” the European Commission Immigration and Home Affairs notes.
Despite EU claims that the new system will enable travelers to cross borders more quickly, at a meeting of the UK’s Lords Committee on November 2, UK travel chiefs expressed concerns that the EU’s new border regimes may, in fact, create lists Long waits, especially at the ferry ports and the Channel Tunnel.
Dover Harbor Council Chairman Tim Reardon said travelers will have to get out of their cars to complete controls, and that will make waiting lists longer.
“There is no way to do biometric control without getting everyone out of the car,” Reardon said.
Immediately after the EES is operational, Britons will also have to obtain an online travel permit in order to be able to travel into the Schengen area, known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).
ETIAS costs €7 and will be valid for three years initially, or until the expiration of the traveler’s passport, whichever comes first. Aside from the British, all visa-free Schengen travelers are required to have ETIAS prior to their travel to the Schengen area.
This means that around 1.4 billion people who are currently allowed to travel to the EU without a visa will have to apply for ETIAS.
Despite speculation that EES and ETIAS could be postponed, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency – Frontex has completed the EES pilot project on the Spanish and Bulgarian land borders.
At the same time, eu-LISA, the European Union agency for the operational management of large-scale information technology systems in the field of freedom, security and justice, announced open registrations for air and sea carriers, as well as international carriers transporting groups by road by bus for EES and ETIAS.
Registration will enable carriers to receive the information necessary to prepare for the implementation of EES and ETIAS legislation.