New EU Border Controls Set For October 2024

New EU Border Checks Come Into Force Next Year

UK passport. Credit: M-Production/

Are British holidaymakers ready for the upcoming travel overhaul? Starting from next autumn, Britons travelling to Europe will encounter a new set of border control measures.

According to a recent report, after months of delays and speculation, UK citizens will soon face fingerprint verification and facial recognition checks under the European Union’s new Entry/Exit System (EES).

Reportedly the new system is set to commence on October 6, 2024, and will replace the traditional passport stamping process which was introduced following Brexit.

Impact on Travel Times

The EES aims to enhance security by collecting biometric data, including a facial image and four fingerprints, from each traveller entering an EU country.

Concerns have arisen over the potential increase in border processing times. Slovenian authorities estimate that these procedures could lengthen queue times by up to four times.

Despite apprehensions, the EES’s introduction is confirmed for 2024. It will demand the provision of personal details such as first name, surname, date of birth, nationality, gender, travel document, and the respective three-letter country code. The only exemption will be for children under 12 years.

Country-Specific Responses

Several EU countries have expressed concerns about the time impact of the new system. Austrian officials predict processing times will double, while Croatian representatives anticipate significantly longer checks.

In France, EES border controls will be enforced at key points including the Port of Dover, Folkestone for Eurotunnel, and St Pancras International for Eurostar. Eurotunnel has warned of a possible six-minute increase in processing time per car.

EES and Beyond

The EES will be applicable to all EU countries except Cyprus and Ireland and will also include Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. The introduction was delayed partly due to the Paris summer Olympics, to avoid travel disruptions.

Approximately six months following the EES rollout, the EU will introduce Etias, a visa waiver system akin to the US Esta, which will cost €7 per person and be necessary for entry into the Schengen Area.

Despite concerns, EU officials assert that the EES will actually streamline travel. ‘The main advantage of the EES is saving time,’ stated a spokesperson. ‘It replaces passport stamping and automates border control procedures, making travel more efficient.’

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • M

      20 December 2023 • 21:37

      Lets hope Tourists don’t get offended by this ridiculous entry scheme and start looking elsewhere for holidays, with Spain having to fork out an additional 6.6 billion euro’s to Brussels a year they need to look hard to make such transitions smoother, and yes adjustments to the 90 day limits too if they have any chance at recouping as much revenue as possible!

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