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Go-ahead for new entry/exit system for EU borders

25 October 2017, 23:02 CET
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Go-ahead for new entry/exit system for EU borders

Photo Customs Administration of Slovenia

(STRASBOURG) - The European Parliament gave the go-ahead Wednesday to a common electronic entry/exit system to register entry and exit data of non-EU nationals crossing the external borders of EU Member States.

The new Entry/Exit System (EES) will register information on non-EU nationals, such as name, travel document, fingerprints, facial image, date and place when they enter, exit or are refused entry into the Schengen area. It will apply both to travellers requiring a visa and to visa-exempt travellers admitted for a short stay of 90 days, who cross the Schengen area's external borders.

"The Entry/Exit System will allow for quicker and safer border crossings," said the Parliament's rapporteur Rapporteur Agustin Diaz de Mera MEP: "It will also help to detect terrorists and other criminals hiding behind a false identity."

The EES would make it easier to check that the authorised duration of a short stay - 90 days in any 180-day period - is respected.

The system replaces manual stamping of passports and speeds up border crossings, while making it easier to detect over-stayers and document or identity fraud.

Regarding data storage, data will be retained for three years and for overstayers for five years; and data stored in the EES can be consulted to prevent, detect or investigate terrorist offences or other serious criminal offences.

On access to the data, the new system will register various data and share the information with external border check points to stop illegal entry and track over-stayers.

The information stored in the new system will be accessible to border and visa authorities; data will be also available to Europol; national asylum authorities will not have access to the EES.

The EES will be operated by the member states which apply Schengen rules in full or member states that do not apply Schengen rules in full, but for which, inter alia: the Schengen evaluation has been completed; and passive access to Visa Information System (VIS) has been granted.

The final text of the proposal - part of the smart borders package presented by the Commission in April 2016.- now has to be adopted by the Council. The Agency for the operational management of large-scale information systems in the area of freedom, security and justice, eu-LISA, is expected to start the development of the system this year with a view to having it operational by 2020.

The cost of the EES has been estimated at EUR 480 million.

Further information, European Parliament

Adopted text will be available here (click on 25.10.2017)

EP Research briefing: Smart borders: EU Entry/Exit System

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