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Concerns Arise: EES App May Not Be Ready for Entry/Exit System Launch in October


The mobile application for the Entry/Exit System (EES), which is set to become effective in October 2024, might not be ready on time.

While officials from the European Union claim that the app will be ready on time, those from the United Kingdom have raised concerns that such a thing will not happen, thus prompting chaos at the EU-UK borders, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Asked about possible delays, the EU Commission’s spokesperson for Home Affairs, Anitta Hipper, has told POLITICO that the mobile will be indeed ready at the time the EES starts operating.

The mobile app for pre-registration of third country nationals’ data is currently under development. The app will be made available for the Schengen countries as from the Entry/Exit System start of operations.

Anitta Hipper, the Commission’s home affairs spokesperson

However, cross-channel transport bosses in the UK fear that such a thing is not true. According to Nichola Mallon of trade body Logistics, the app will not be ready before the summer of 2025, as the EU does not have time to fully test it before October.

For the app to be effective it needs to have been fully tested with all types of end-users and in all languages well before the start of operations.

Nichola Mallon, Head of Trade & Devolved Policy at Logistics UK

EES App to Make Border Crossing Smoother & Avoid Crowds

UK transport bosses believe that an EES app launched in time would be a huge relief for the EU-UK border points, from the queues that they anticipate the EES system is set to cause.

The fears of queues arise from the fact that once the system is in place, non-EU citizens entering and leaving the territory will have to fingerprints and submit to facial scans at least the first time they enter the bloc.

However, if the app is released on time, travellers will be able to complete most procedures online, avoiding long wait at the border.

EU Also Working on ETIAS Mobile App

The EU authorities are also working on building an app for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which is set to be launched along with the system in mid-2025.

European Commission Spokesperson for home affairs, Anitta Hipper, has previously told SchengenVisaInfo that the app is currently still under development.

The ETIAS technical system is currently still under development. Once ready, the Commission will launch a comprehensive communication campaign to reach the various relevant audiences. This will include information to the public about the ETIAS mobile app ahead of its adoption.

Anitta Hipper, the Commission’s home affairs spokesperson

Whereas the eu-LISA, which is the EU agency responsible for developing the ETIAS, has told SVI that the app will be available in both iOS and Android platforms, and in all language of the EU.

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