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EU's planned biometric border check system 'delayed again'

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
EU's planned biometric border check system 'delayed again'
Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP

The EU's long-expected new EES system, which adds extra checks including fingerprints and facial scans for travellers at the border, is reported to have been pushed again - this time until after the Paris Olympics in 2024.

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The Entry & Exit System - which aims to tighten up security at EU external borders and replace the passport stamping system for travellers constrained by the 90-day rule - has already been delayed several times.

It is currently due to come into effect in November 2023, but UK newspaper The Independent is reporting that it has been delayed again until 2024 - with officials in Paris pushing for a delay until after the Olympics in the summer of 2024.

The Independent reported: "The newspaper has learnt that the electronic border scheme will not now go ahead this year because the database on which it depends will not be ready in time.

"A formal announcement is expected in June."

EU member states have expressed alarm at the extra processing time that the new system will require at the border, with travellers having to present passports, give fingerprints and have facial scans.

The checks will apply to travellers at all EU external borders - for example someone flying in to Germany from the USA - but not to internal travel between EU or Schengen area countries.

Transport operators are particularly worried about the UK-France border, which has already been the scene of long queues at peak travel times since Brexit, with operators of cross-Channel ferries and the Eurostar sounding the alarm.

Paris expects to welcome 10 million visitors during the Olympics and Paralympics in the summer of 2024, and French officials are alarmed at the idea of travel delays as EES becomes effective.

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The EU has been due to implement two new systems - EES which tightens security at the border and ETIAS which requires tourists to have a €7 visa for entry to the bloc.

Find full details of how the new systems will work HERE.

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