EU digital border system: British travelers to be scanned from 2024

A new digital border system in the European Union (EU) that mandates fingerprints and facial scans for British travelers during their initial use is set to launch in the fall of the coming year, as reported. The entry/exit system (EES) is slated to commence on October 6, 2024, according to information from Getlink, the owner of Eurotunnel, as cited by the i and Times newspapers.

Eurotunnel, responsible for a car transport service between Folkestone and Calais, is reportedly conducting tests on the technology, which involves the collection of personal data at borders for entry into a comprehensive EU-wide database.

As per the EES, British and other passengers will be required to undergo fingerprinting and facial image capture during their first arrival on the continent. Subsequent to this initial process, the recorded data, inclusive of any instances of denied entry, is expected to facilitate expedited processing, according to statements from travel authorities.

The initial rollout of the system, initially planned for the current year, was postponed due to concerns about potential disruptions during the Summer Olympics in Paris next year.

Anticipated to lead to notable delays, the additional requirements are estimated by the Port of Dover to add around 10 minutes for a family of five in a vehicle during their initial trip after the EES implementation, in contrast to the typical 45-90 seconds. Eurotunnel projects that the average processing time for a car at the French frontier will increase from under 60 seconds to 5-7 minutes.

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