Tighter border controls likely for Europe

Proposal for controls on visa-free travel in Schengen zone
The European Commission is proposing to implement tighter border controls for visa-free travellers within the Schengen zone, TTG Asia reports.
The proposed European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) application process, expected to take no more than ten minutes and be valid for five years on approval, is being introduced to strengthen pre-arrival security checks.
This will affect visitors from Europe’s largest, well-established markets including the US and Japan, according to the European Tour Operators Association.
“Schengen is a success story which has transformed the visitor economy in Europe. With a single visa it has facilitated trouble-free cross-border travel within the zone. It is an example of a civilising influence that has brought great commercial and cultural benefit,” said Tom Jenkins, the association’s chief executive.
“The reappearance of temporary controls reminds us that we cannot take this for granted. ETIAS will be successful only if it improves the arrivals process for ETIAS holders in European gateways. It will require careful consultation and implementation.”
He added that several factors will have to be taken into account, including keeping costs minimal, making application processes user-friendly and ensuring hassle is low for successful applicants.
“The introduction of the ESTA [Electronic System for Travel Authorization] regime for US-bound travellers caused an immediate drop-off in volume; we must avoid this with ETIAS,” he added.
The European Commission assures that the ETIAS authorisation will not be as strict as a visa.
TTG Asia