The European Union (EU) has announced a new timeline for the launch of two new border control systems: the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

According to the EU Council, the EES will enter into force in autumn 2024, and ETIAS will enter into operation in spring 2025.

Entry/Exit System (EES)

The Entry/Exit System (EES) is an automated IT system that will register all third-country travelers, both visa holders and visa-exempt travelers, each time they cross an EU external border. The system will collect the traveler’s name, travel document type, biometric data (fingerprints and facial images), and date and place of entry and exit, in full compliance with fundamental rights and data protection.

EES will also record refusals of entry. It will replace the current system of manual passport stamping, which is time-consuming, does not provide reliable border crossing data, and cannot systematically detect overstayers (travelers who have exceeded their authorized stay duration).

EES will help prevent irregular migration and protect the security of European citizens. It will also make it easier for bona fide third-country nationals to travel, while also more efficiently identifying overstayers and cases of document and identity fraud. Additionally, EES will enable wider use of automated border control checks and self-service systems, which are faster and more convenient for travelers.

European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS)

ETIAS will be a largely automated IT system designed to identify security, irregular migration, or high epidemic risks posed by visa-exempt visitors traveling to the Schengen States, while also facilitating border crossings for the vast majority of travelers who do not pose such risks. Non-EU nationals who do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen Area will be required to apply for a travel authorization through the ETIAS system before their trip. The information gathered through ETIAS will allow for advance verification of potential security, irregular migration, or high epidemic risks, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection principles. The ETIAS will check all information that is provided by the applicants with other data that is already stored in EU systems, such as the Schengen Information System (SIS) and the Visa Information System (VIS).

The EU is postponing the launch of ETIAS until spring 2025 because it is deeply linked to the launch of the EES. will provide regular updates as they are released by the European Commission.

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