More complications for British travellers next year. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

Waiting times at the external borders of the European Union may increase once the Entry/Exit System (EES) becomes fully effective in May 2023, the Member States fear, according to a compilation of comments published by the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU.

Published on November 16, the compilation consists of answers from the Member States’ authorities responsible for the application of the EES system by May 2023 regarding the testing of the system they have done so far, the obstacles they have encountered and their expectations.

The document has shed light on the fact that many of the Member Countries have found that border processing times at the external borders will increase due to the procedures that each traveller will have to go through in order for their data to be stored in the EES, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

In addition, it has been asserted by the same that border control will become more complicated once the EES becomes effective, as the border guards will have to differentiate between visa-exempt and visa-subject travellers.

Most of the Member States, however, have confirmed that they are already working on the automation of border controls through the installation of e-Gates and self-service kiosks. Italy, for example, plans to install about 600 kiosks, which will be spread at every airport, in particular in those affected by significant volumes of extra-Schengen traffic.

The Entry/Exit System (EES) is a new scheme that has been established by the EU, and it will serve to register entry and exit data of third-country nationals crossing the external borders of Member States. Through it, the EU intends to strengthen and protect the external borders of the Schengen Zone and increase security.