RHA welcomes EU border entry/exit system delay
19 Jan 2023
Posted By Kate Gibbs
RHA welcomes the news that the EES has been pushed back from May until the end of the year as it will allow allows operators including hauliers and coach companies to properly prepare.
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 delay has been caused by contractor delays, according 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, 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.
The RHA working to reduce EES delays at the border
The RHA is inviting EU officials to a practical trial with a coach to examine how the EES would work in a real-world scenario – and identify where the system would need to improve to keep vehicles moving quickly.
Richard Smith said that the system is designed with airports in mind but it isn’t currently practical for processing coach passengers at a port.
“Frustrating border delays could put holidaymakers off from coach travel which would be a bitter blow for our members who rely on overseas trips for their businesses.
“We’re keen to work with the EU, Border Force, trade bodies and other stakeholders on making the new processes work efficiently for coachloads of passengers crossing the Channel.”