NEW rules for Brits travelling to the EU next year could lead to waits of up to four times longer at airport passport checks.
A new system is being brought in across EU countries, called the EES (Entry/Exit System) which will replace the stamping of passports.
The digital system will be brought in from May 2023 and will check a person’s name, biometric data and the date and place of entry and exit.
But doing this could quadruple wait times at airports for non-EU visitors, according to EU countries preparing to implement the systems ahead of peak season next year.
The Slovenian government told The Independent: “It takes up to four times longer to do the new process – border check + enrolment + verification.”
Austria warned that process times would at least “double compared to the current situation” while Croatia said that border checks would “certainly be significantly longer”.
While it looks like the rules will increase processing times at airports, snarl ups at other ports are also expected.
In September, port chiefs at Dover warned that the new system could extend checks from 45 seconds to as much as 10 minutes.
Port chief Doug Bannister said: “Even at the busiest times right now, with new post-Brexit rules, passport checks are taking 45 to 90 seconds per car.
“With the pre-registration involved a car with a family of four or five in it could take up to 10 minutes.
“The government should be urgently discussing with their French and EU counterparts how this is going to work.”
Previously, concerns were raised by those having to implement the new measures.
Tim Reardon, head of EU exit for the Dover Harbour Board raised concerns a year ago, which don’t seem to have been properly addressed.
He said: “There is no way of doing a biometric control without getting everyone out of the vehicle.
“That’s the one thing on our site which cannot happen because you’re in the middle of live traffic.
“It would be equivalent to asking people to get out of their car at a motorway toll booth. It’s fundamentally unsafe and it can’t happen.”
Similar problems are also expected to affect Eurostar, with the train’s strategy director stating: “We don’t currently see a practical solution.”
A government spokesperson told the Independent: “We are working closely with port authorities, operators and the French government to make sure passengers are prepared and do not experience unnecessary delays at the border due to new entry and exit system checks being introduced next year.”
The new rules come alongside the implementation of the ETIAS scheme, which will start in November next year.
The scheme will require tourists from more than 60 countries, including the UK, to apply for a visa exemption online at least 96 hours before departure, which will cost each person €7 (£6).
Approval will be required to enter any of the EU’s 27 member states, including popular holiday destinations like France, Spain and the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, Brits have been warned that the new visa-waiver scheme could easily lead to them being scammed.
And consumer expert Martin Lewis has warned Brits about other charges in Europe post-Brexit.
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