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How the new EES system will affect your European trips

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For first time travellers and seasoned globetrotters alike, staying informed about the latest travel regulations is crucial. If you’re planning a trip to Europe, you need to be aware of the forthcoming European Entry/Exit System (EES).

The new system will have a significant impact on travel to, and within, the European Union. We’re here to clarify what the EES is, how it will work, and what it will mean for UK travellers planning to journey into the EU.

What is the new European Entry/Exit System (EES)?

The European Entry/Exit System (EES) is an initiative by the European Union, due to start later this year. The system is designed to digitally record the entry, exit, and any denial of entry information, of non-EU travellers visiting the continent for short stays (up to 90 days within any 180-day period).

By using advanced digital technology, the system should ensure a streamlined, efficient, and secure experience for people travelling to Europe.

How will the EES work?

The EES will replace the manual stamping of passports with an automated system that captures the biometric data (a facial image and four fingerprints) of all travellers. This data, along with the date and place of entry and exit, will be recorded in a central database accessible to the relevant migration and border authorities. 

Female traveler with backpack and camera in the old town market square in Warsaw, Poland.

What does the EES mean for UK travellers?

Since the UK is no longer part of the EU, British holidaymakers will need to use the new system when visiting Schengen Area countries. 

Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming changes:

You’ll need to pre-register your details before your trip. 

This includes submitting biometric information, which can be done at various points before travel.

You’ll benefit from faster border crossings.

One of the benefits of the EES is that it is expected to lead to faster border crossings for genuine travellers. Automated gates will use the biometric data to verify a traveller’s identity, which should reduce wait times when crossing borders.

You’ll need to remember your planned exit date

With the implementation of the EES, the current practice of manually stamping passports will be phased out. It’s vital you are aware of your entry and exit dates to avoid overstaying, as the EES will automatically calculate and flag any discrepancies.

Your data is secure

The introduction of biometric data collection has raised questions about privacy and data protection. However, the EES is designed with strong data protection measures, ensuring that personal information is handled according to the highest security standards.

Preparation is key

For UK residents eager to continue their European adventures, understanding these changes is crucial. The new system requires a bit of preparation, but it’s designed to make travel to the EU smoother and more secure.

To stay informed and ensure that you are compliant with the new requirements, you should check the official EU website for updates on the EES and detailed guidance on how to prepare for your next trip to Europe.

By staying informed and prepared you can look forward to many more trips to the continent, exploring its cultures, cuisines, and landscapes with ease.