Transport government officials from the UK and France, who met in Paris last week, have signalled both countries will work together on the upcoming implementation of the EU’s Entry/Exit System, replacing the current protocol of checking passport stamps for seamless biometric registration of third-country travellers arriving in the EU.
The EES was postponed from May 2022 to the end of 2023. The new travel procedure, scanning passports and travel documents and collecting a traveller’s live biometric profile for registration, has stood up against some criticism that border queues will be made longer and congestion made worse than using manual procedures.
The 25 countries in the European Union will be required to use the Entry/Exit System as well as four non-EU countries borderless Schengen area however non-EU citizen that do not need to obtain a visa for EU entry are likely to dodge having their facial and fingerprint biometrics captured.
The UK already has arrangements allowing French authorities to conduct checks at UK border points which operate the new proposed system including, the Port of Dover and Eurostar and Eurotunnel, however this has impacted concerns about reduced traffic flow and congestion.
In a Twitter post, UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper emphasised both countries were looking to establish “reliable, quick, and safe travel routes”, harnessing their enduring Anglo-French relationship.
The Department for Transport said Harper “reaffirmed the UK government’s commitment to working alongside the French government to ensure any new system works for both countries and passengers”.