Travellers with their sights set on Europe may have to wait a little longer for the new EU Entry/Exit System (EES).

French Infrastructure Concerns Cause Delay

Our sources report that French airports are requesting a further postponement of the EES rollout, originally scheduled for October 2024. Citing logistical challenges due to the Paris Olympics, L’Union des Aéroports Français (representing French airports) claims insufficient time for installing biometric data collection kiosks before the October deadline.

What is the EES?

The EES aims to streamline border crossings for non-EU travellers. This digital system will replace passport stamps with fingerprint scans and facial recognition captured at automated kiosks.

Impact on British Travellers

While the EES directly affects entry procedures, it’s linked to another upcoming change: the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). Once the EES is operational, it’s expected that British travellers (alongside other non-EU citizens) will require an ETIAS visa waiver for trips to Schengen Area countries.

Double Delay?

The French airport request, if granted, would push back the EES launch to Q1 2025. This, in turn, could further delay the introduction of the ETIAS visa waiver system, originally slated for spring 2025.

Previous Delays and Costs

This isn’t the first EES deadline to shift. The system’s initial launch was planned for 2021, but infrastructure hurdles have caused repeated postponements. Once fully operational, British travellers can expect a £6 fee for the ETIAS visa waiver.

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