Time expectations at the external borders of the EU may increase with the rollout of deep scanning, the Entry/Exit Biometric System (EES), which will become fully operational in May 2023.
According to the plan, the system will be used for biometric registration of all travelers in the EU, collecting information about the time and place of their entry and exit from the bloc. The stay time will be calculated automatically in the hope of catching and deporting tourists with expired visas. A compilation of comments from Member States responsible for implementing the EES system by May 2023 was published on November 16 by the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU, Schengenvisainfo reported. It provides an overview of progress in the implementation of the system.
“The paper shed light on the fact that many member countries have found that border processing times at external borders will increase due to the procedures that each traveler will have to go through, so that his data is stored in the EES, ”the publication explained.
We will quote directly the comments of representatives of European countries about the innovation:
- “It is expected that passenger control times will increase significantly with the introduction of EES,” the German authorities noted, adding that at some airports in the country it will be necessary to increase the capacity for border control, in particular during peak travel hours.
- Croatian representatives agreed with colleagues: “In recent years, we have repeatedly tested (fixed and mobile) equipment purchased for border crossing points from several suppliers, and it has been determined that border control waiting times will certainly be significantly longer.”
< li>A similar response was given by the Austrian authorities, who claimed that waiting times at the borders would be double what they currently are: “Additional tasks arising from EES regulation will lead to a dramatic increase in processing times. We currently expect processing times to double compared to the current situation. This will also affect border waiting times at border crossing points.”
In addition, it also argued that border controls will become more difficult once the EES comes into force, as border officials will have to distinguish between visa-free and visa-free travelers. According to the calculations of the Polish authorities, the time for passing the border control by one passenger will increase by 30 seconds to 2 minutes, unless additional steps are required, such as identification.
Meanwhile, the Slovenian authorities say the new process, which includes border control, registration and verification, will take four times as long as the current procedures. “However, due to the fact that the infrastructure is what it is and cannot be changed (most of the checkpoints are in such places that expanding the area of the checkpoint, introducing more lanes, etc. is physically impossible and not funded EU), we are going to deal with the extension of the waiting time,” they said, adding that quality information campaigns in the EU and third countries would help alleviate the situation.
However, most Member States confirmed that they are already working on automating border controls through the installation of electronic gates and self-service kiosks. Italy, for example, is planning to install some 600 kiosks at each airport, in particular those that suffer from significant non-Schengen traffic.
Help: Entry/Exit System (EES) is a new scheme created by the EU that will be used to register the entry and exit of tourists from third countries crossing the external borders of the European Union. The system will register the person's name, type of travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial image), as well as the date and place of entry and exit. According to the expectations of European authorities, this will help the bloc strengthen and protect the outer borders of the Schengen area and increase security.
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