EU confirms timeline for rollout of EES and ETIAS border systems

Claudia Delpero, Europe Street
Claudia Delpero, Europe Street - [email protected]
EU confirms timeline for rollout of EES and ETIAS border systems
EU confirms new timeline for rollout of ETIAS and EES.(Photo by Daniel ROLAND / AFP)

EU home affairs ministers endorsed on Thursday the new dates for the entry into operation of the new EU border systems, which will affect many non-EU citizens entering the Schengen area in future.


The decision concerns the Entry/Exit System (EES), which will record data of citizens from non-EU countries in an EU-wide database every time they enter and exit the Schengen area, and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which will require non-EU nationals from visa-exempt countries to apply for a digital authorisation before departure.

READ ALSO: EES and ETIAS - What are the big changes for travel in Europe?

Foreign nationals officially resident in the EU will be exempted from both when entering the Schengen area.

When first announced both systems were initially due to be in place by now, but the rollout has been hit many hurdles in the past months leading to several postponements.

But on Thursday eu-LISA, the EU agency responsible for the development and operational management of the IT systems for EU border management, presented the new timeline to ministers meeting at the EU Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

“The new roadmap for the delivery of the new IT architecture foresees that the Entry/Exit system will enter into operation in the second half of 2024 and that ETIAS will enter into operation in the first half of 2025,” the official told The Local.

More specifically they said EES would be implemented between "quarter three and quarter four in 2024 and ETIAS quarter one to quarter two in 2025".

Ministers endorsed the new timeline, although there is no formal decision-making role for the Council, an EU official told The Local.


These rough dates had already been widely rumoured given French officials had asked for EES to be delayed until after the Paris Olympics in summer 2024. That pushed back the ETIAS rollout to spring 2025.

A Commission spokesperson told The Local that “a worldwide information campaign” is in preparation to inform travellers ahead of the key dates.

READ ALSO: What's the latest on the rollout of EES and ETIAS border systems?

What are the EES and ETIAS

The EU’s Entry/Exit System (EES) is a digital scheme to register non-EU citizens each time they cross the external borders of the Schengen Area, by air, land or sea.

The EES will replace the manual stamping of passports with an electronic record of entries and exits. It will register the person's name, type of travel document, fingerprints and facial images and the date and place of arrival and departure.

The system aims to tighten up border security, including the enforcement of the rule of maximum 90-day stays in any 180-day period for short-term visitors.

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), expected six months later, will require people from visa-exempt countries who travel to the Schengen area for short stays to apply for an authorisation before departure.

For more details on EES and ETIAS click here.



Comments (1)

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John K 2023/11/04 08:45
What if you have Italian citizenship but no residency but also no passport (yet)? Can you still enter the EU with the ID card? And will there still be a queue for EU citizens travelling with an ID card (and a UK passport)) ?

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