Stricter EU travel controls for Britons next year. | VIOLETA SANTOS MOURA


Britons non-resident in EU countries planning on taking a holiday to the Balearics and the rest of Spain or other EU nations in 2024 are being told to expect “chaos”.

A new timeline for the EU’s post-Brexit Entry/Exit System (EES) has officially been confirmed for the Autumn by EU ministers.
When it finally does come into force, non-EU travellers entering the Schengen Area will face new border controls.

Some have anticipated chaos when the scheme launches, while others are hopeful that the repeated delays will give countries enough time to prepare for the change. One is the Entry/Exit System (EES), an automated IT system for registering travellers from third-countries, both short-stay visa holders and visa exempt travellers, each time they cross an EU external border.

The system will register the person’s name, type of the travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and captured facial images) and the date and place of entry and exit, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection.
It will also record refusals of entry.

EES will replace the current system of manual stamping of passports, which is time consuming, does not provide reliable data on border crossings and does not allow a systematic detection of over-stayers (travellers who have exceeded the maximum duration of their authorised stay). EES will contribute to prevent irregular migration and help protect the security of European citizens.

The new system will also help bona fide third-country nationals to travel more easily while also identifying more efficiently over-stayers as well as cases of document and identity fraud. In addition to this, the system will enable to make a wider use of automated border control checks and self-service systems, which are quicker and more comfortable for the traveller.

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The European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA) is responsible for developing and managing the system.
And the other is the ETIAS travel authorisation which is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to any of these 30 European countries. It is linked to a traveller’s passport. It is valid for up to three years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. If you get a new passport, you need to get a new ETIAS travel authorisation.

With a valid ETIAS travel authorisation, you can enter the territory of these European countries as often as you want for short-term stays - normally for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, it does not guarantee entry. When you arrive, a border guard will ask to see your passport and other documents and verify that you meet the entry conditions.

You can fill out the application form using either this official ETIAS website or the ETIAS mobile application. Applying for the ETIAS travel authorisation costs 7 euros, though some travellers are exempt from paying this fee.

Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO of The Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “When the new entry and exit system is introduced next year, UK travellers will need to be prepared for potential delays on their first trip to any of the 29 European countries involved in the new system as they will need to have their fingerprints and facial images taken. With this information then valid for the next three years, we hope to see the use of automated border control checks and self-service systems increase the speed of processing times and improve the overall experience for all travellers.

“It is important that border staff are able to implement the new entry and exit system smoothly and efficiently in order to cause minimal disruption to travellers as we move away from the current process of passport stamping. As we look ahead to 2024, the demand for travel remains incredibly high and we expect the EES to be a small addition to the process of travel.

“We always recommend travellers book through their local travel agent in order to ensure they are fully aware and compliant with all travel requirements, as well receive the best value for flights and accommodation during their trip. Advantage is working together with all our agent partners to ensure they are aware of the EES process and are able to help their customers.”