The Dutch government is preparing for the upcoming changes at the EU’s external borders, which will take effect in May 2023.
Beginning in May 2023, when the EU entry and exit system (EES) becomes operational, changes will be implemented, including the registration of all non-EU persons entering and exiting the Schengen Area.
According to a justice ministry spokeswoman, the EES system will be deployed at international border crossings in the Netherlands in accordance with the EES Regulation. This applies to the maritime and air border crossings, including Hoek van Holland, IJmuiden, Schiphol, and Rotterdam airport, as well as the Eurostar train stations in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
According to DutchNews, the government has spoken of adopting mobile apps and self-service kiosks where nationals of third countries can register in advance of their arrival. In addition, they will have access to E-gates.
Furthermore, a report from Statewatch indicates that the Dutch authorities may pursue a progressive approach stating that limited data will be registered at the Amsterdam and maritime ferry border crossing sites.
All EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, will implement the new system, although non-EU Schengen states such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania will be excluded.
The system will be utilised at external border crossing locations to record the data of non-Schengen visitors arriving and departing. The required information comprises the individual’s identity, travel document, biometric data such as fingerprints, entry and exit points, and length of stay.
The EES technology will automatically scan passports, and border guards will no longer be required to inspect or stamp documents. Additionally, data will be maintained in an EU-wide database for three years, with each entry requiring a new storage period.
Every entry and exit must be recorded, which means that all visitors must have their documents scanned. Citizens of the European Union and nationals of third countries who reside in the Schengen area are exempt from registering with the EES system.
This system is designed to strengthen border security and detect people who overstay their Schengen region short-stay visas, thereby preventing illegal migration. Nationals of the 63 countries that do not require a visa to enter the EU are permitted stays of up to 90 days every 180 days. Additionally, the EES system aims to improve the identification of terrorists, suspects, criminals, and victims of crime.
However, there are security concerns because the system will include a massive database of sensitive information about the millions of individuals who travel to the EU each year. Some people are even concerned about delays.