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End of an era for passport stamps EU border system enters the digital age

End of an era for passport stamps? EU border system enters the digital age

According to the EU, manually stamping passports “takes time…and does not allow a systematic detection of overstayers.”

Many visitors view passport stamps as badges of distinction because they provide a sentimental paper trail of their travels.

But when entering the Schengen Area, they might soon become obsolete.

With the new automated Entry/Exit System (EES), which is scheduled to be live in November 2023, non-EU visitors will be registered digitally without the use of physical stamps.

According to a statement from the European Commission’s department for Migration and Home Affairs, “EES will replace the current system of manually stamping passports, which is time-consuming, does not provide reliable data on border crossings, and does not allow a systematic detection of overstayers.”

The EU Entry/Exit System (EES) is what, exactly?

The EES will be an automated IT system for tracking foreigners with short-stay visas or visa exemptions who are travelling from third-countries.

The system will record a person’s identity, kind of travel document, biometric information (fingerprints and facial pictures), as well as the time and location of entrance and leave, each time they pass through an EU external border. It will also keep track of entrance denials.

Self-service kiosks and automated border controls are intended to speed up the passenger experience while enhancing security in the EU. However, the airline industry and a number of nations have warned that if the system is introduced without adequate planning, there may be some teething issues.

It was supposed to debut in 2022, but delays until May 2023 and then until November prevented that from happening.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will be used by travellers having visa-free access to the Schengen Area to get travel authorization. Once the EES is operational, this will be launched in stages.

Before the EES launches, passport stamps are still necessary.

Brits have been told that after Brexit, they would need passport stamps to leave and enter the Schengen Zone.

This serves as evidence that they have not exceeded their 90-day visa-free cap for any 180-day term.

For some people who love to travel, it has even turned out to be a little benefit of leaving the EU. It normally occurs automatically at security.

SOURCE – euronews

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