EU’s Entry-Exit System for Passengers May Be Delayed Longer Than Foreseen

Despite the fact that authorities in the European Union want the new entry-exit system known as the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to be functionalized by the end of next year, such a process may be further delayed.

According to an EU internal document of October 20, drafted by the EU’s police agency Europol, “promises of extra security appear to be running into trouble amid a slew of delays,” as reported by EU Observer.

The ETIAS will help authorities in the European Union countries to know who is planning to travel to their territory, before they even reach the borders. The document will become obligatory for third-country citizens who plan to enter the Schengen Zone territories under the visa-free regime, reports.

Recently, reported that nearly 1.4 billion travellers from over 60 countries under the EU visa-free regime would be obliged to file an application for an ETIAS before planning to enter any of the Schengen territories. In addition, according to the announcement, travellers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand as well as Serbia would also be required to follow such entry rules.

Authorities in the EU previously stressed that the ETIAS scheme would become fully effective by the end of 2022, adding that the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) already contracted 41 new staff members in order to work at the ETIAS Central Unit.

According to the announcement made back then, the new members include a total of 28 ETIAS application handlers, as well as two team leaders and 11 travellers and carrier support operators.

In addition, the agency stressed that it expects that the number of working staff in the ETIAS Central Unit will increase to 200 by the time that such a scheme would be fully implemented.

It was also reported that the EU’s Entry and Exit System (EES) may be further delayed even though it was planned to be implemented in May 2022. Such delay could happen due to serious organizational and technical problems that the system is currently facing; therefore, its implementation may happen after summer 2022.

Such an announcement was made by the non-profit organization Statewatch after taking into consideration a letter that it possesses.

However, last month it was reported that all sea carriers, air carriers, as well as international carriers and transporting groups, are now eligible to register for the Entry and Exit System (EES) as well as the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), through the eu-Lisa website.

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