The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has provided more details concerning delays in the activation of two new third-country EU traveler entry/exit programs by the European Commission. These programs were set to start this fall but now won't begin until next year.
The Entry/Exit System (EES), which will replace the current system of manual stamping of passports with an electronic record, is scheduled to start a transitional phase in May 2023, EBAA said. Manual stamping of passports will end in mid-August 2023 and the transitional phase will end in February 2024. The association urged stakeholders to "be ready to go" by March 2023.
Meanwhile, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is expected to be implemented in November 2023. ETIAS is an online pre-travel and pre-boarding requirement applying to visa-exempt third-country nationals planning to travel to European states. Operators must be able to verify ETAIS authorization within 48 hours before scheduled departure.
According to EBAA, program authorities indicated that if the aircraft is owned by a private individual or organization and handled by a professional management company, or is a private charter, the flights must adhere to the programs' requirements. However, if the aircraft is owned by a private individual or organization, the crew is hired directly by the aircraft owner, and flights are not charter, the operation will not be required to use the new systems.