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Switzerland Amends Its Laws to Prepare for New Biometric Schengen Border Controls

With the new Schengen area border control systems, known as the Entry and Exit System (EES), which is due to start operating next year.

According to a press release from the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration, the decision was made at a meeting of the Federal Council on November 10, while changes to the Law on Foreigners and Integration will become effective on May 1, 2022, reports.

“From 2022, the data of third-country nationals entering the Schengen area for a short stay will be electronically recorded. To this end, a Europe-wide information system (Entry / Exit System, EES) is being introduced. At its meeting on November 10, 2021, the Federal Council decided The necessary changes to the Aliens and Integration Law shall come into effect on May 1, 2022,” the State Secretariat for Immigration noted in its press release.

He further explains that once the entry and exit system is operational, it will increase security in the Schengen area while making border control more efficient through the use of modern technologies that will automate many procedures in this regard.

The system is set to operate at international airports in Switzerland, and will also be used by immigration authorities and the police.

The State Secretariat for Migration also explains that the majority of the provisions of the EES are directly applicable, and therefore, the same does not require enforcement in Swiss law. However, the situation is not the same when it comes to Aliens and Integration Law which needs certain provisions in order to become more realistic and in line with the EES regulations.

The press release clarifies that “Parliament already approved the changes at the legislative level in June 2019, and the subsequent referendum period ended without their use,” and reaffirmed that “the necessary changes to the Aliens and Integration Law and its associated executive provisions are effective on May 1, 2022.”

EES is an automated IT system starting next year, which will register all entrants to the block from third countries. The system will register both short-stay visa holders and visa-exempt travelers each time they cross the external border of the European Union when entering or leaving the bloc.

However, the system could be delayed until the second half of 2022, as an October 20 internal EU document drawn up by the EU’s police agency Europol states that the Eastern European region is facing problems amid a large number of delays.

However, eu-LISA, the European Union’s agency for the operational management of large-scale information technology systems in the field of freedom, security and justice, has already announced that air carriers, sea carriers and international carriers transporting groups by land via the Instructor can now register in the entry system/ Exit (EES) through the eu-LISA website.

Registration will allow carriers to receive the necessary information so that they can prepare for these two systems.

Meanwhile, just this month, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) completed the Land Border Entry-Exit System (EES) pilot project, hosted by Spain and Bulgaria, that catalysed the future environmental environment of the eastern and southeastern United States. By collecting and verifying the requested data, following the fundamental rights and personal data protection measures.

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