PREPARING FOR THE EU VISA WAIVER START DATE
With the start date of ETIAS approaching, European institutions are preparing for its implementation.
Here are some recent examples of current preparations.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR FINLAND’S BORDER CONTROL PROJECTS
The European Union’s Internal Security Fund has granted €1.3 million to three border management projects in Finland.
A portion of the funds will be used to upgrade border control equipment, including self-service kiosks.
Finland is also working on a border control app for mobile devices that will be used on trains, ports, and other border crossing locations.
When the Entry/Exit system and ETIAS become live, these projects will help to ensure seamless passenger flow.
The financing also covers the costs of running a patrol vessel.
ETIAS CENTRAL UNIT OPERATORS COMPLETE TRAINING
In January 2022, the first cohort of ETIAS Central Unit operators graduated.
A three-month training session was completed by 28 ETIAS application handlers, two team leaders, and ten travellers and carrier support operators.
These operators will be performing tasks such as system testing until the ETIAS for Europe launch date. They will process applications and give help desk assistance once ETIAS is established.
Over the next two years, Frontex will hire 200 new employees to administer and operate the ETIAS Central Unit.
AIR, LAND, AND SEA CARRIER REGISTRATION ONGOING
Passengers travelling to the Schengen Area by air, sea, or overland coach can now register using the eu-carrier LISA’s interface. This will allow them to query the Agency’s IT systems.
When ETIAS is adopted, carriers such as airlines will be required by law to check it. Only passengers who receive the ‘OK to travel’ response will be able to board.
A Working Group for Carriers has been formed to promote coordination between eu-LISA, the European Commission, Frontex, and carriers in preparation for ETIAS.
EU-LISA INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLES
Industry Roundtables are organised by eu-LISA, the EU organisation in charge of the European Union’s large-scale IT systems.
The 16th edition, titled ‘EES and ETIAS – Getting Ready for Operation,’ was held on October 11-12, 2022. The event’s speakers presented and debated technology solutions and operational processes.
The eu-LISA roundtables bring together representatives from EU institutions, Member States, and the transportation industry. In the run-up to the new border management systems, stakeholders can share their thoughts and concerns.