EU Entry Exit System delay – what coach members need to know

The new system is expected to create delays at ports

Joe Scotting | 25th January 2023 11:02 AM

  • The EES has been pushed back from May until the end of the year 
  • RHA says the delay allows operators including hauliers and coach companies to properly prepare
  • Multiple bodies are claiming the new system will cause delays

The Entry/Exit System (EES), which would see non-EU citizens fingerprinted and photographed at borders has been delayed until the end of 2023 after already being pushed back from last year. After fingerprints and photographs are taken from the initial visit these details will have to be validated with each subsequent journey to the EU.

The RHA has warned about the readiness of the EES, saying that EU-bound coach passengers would suffer delays at Channel ports. The Port of Dover also warned of delays.

Richard Smith, RHA Managing Director, has said:

“We welcome the delay as the issues with the practical operation of the scheme including the infrastructure required would not have been overcome by May. We’ve raised concerns about the slow progress on getting the system ready, and then familiarising our operators with how it will work. This extra time to get it up and running effectively must be used wisely.”

EES will work alongside the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which the EU plans to launch in November. An approved ETIAS application will be mandatory for all visa-exempt travellers, while visiting any of 30 countries in Europe.

How will this impact coaches at the border once implemented?

Passengers must register their first visit with the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), a travel authorisation to enter the EU for citizens of non-EU countries that do not require a visa to enter the EU. Once registered their authorisation is valid for three years.

The RHA alongside several other groups have warned about the delays such a system would cause. A coach filled with passengers validating their ETIAS would see each getting their fingerprints and face scanned, severely impacting travel times. Each subsequent visit would see the passenger’s passport validated against the entry data.

Coach operators looking to get into Europe will have to implement systems to ensure all passengers have signed up to this system beforehand. They will also have to ensure customers are informed of such delays once the EES is implemented.