22 Sep, 2023 @ 10:12
1 min read

Post-Brexit passport database that will clock how many times Brits have visited Spain and elsewhere in the EU ‘is delayed until 2025’

British passport photo by UK in Spain/Flickr
British passport photo by UK in Spain/Flickr

A PASSPORT tracking system that will keep tabs on how many days Brits have spent in the EU has reportedly been delayed yet again until May 2025.

The so-called ETIAS, and its accompanying Entry/Exit System (EES), was supposed to be up and running by the middle of 2024.

However an EU official has now confirmed this has been pushed back to May the following year, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

The 90/180 rule means that since Brexit, UK citizens can now only visit the EU for a maximum of 90 days, with the clock resetting every 180 days (essentially, three in every six months).

Currently, dated stamps in passports are the only way for border patrol officers to know how long a person from a ‘third country’ has spent in the EU.

However in theory, if someone were to order a new passport after clocking up 90 days in the EU, the new document would have zero stamps and the border officer would be none the wiser.

Additionally, others have gone over the 90-day limit and returned home without the passport officer realising.

This is because the workers often do not have the time to count up all the stamps and calculate whether or not a visitor has exceeded the 90-day limit in the past 180 days.

The EES, however, is an international database that would do the hard work for them, counting every time a person crossed an EU external border.

This data would be instantly accessible when scanning your passport, making it virtually impossible to avoid the 90/180 rule.

But an EU source said: “We had initially hoped for the EES to become operational by the end of this year or, at the latest, the beginning of next year.

“Due to unforeseen delays, it has become evident that this timeline is unattainable. As a result, the implementation of the ETIAS has been rescheduled to May 2025, with the possibility of further postponement.”

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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