Thursday, June 10, 2021

Finnish Ministry of Interior Sends Legislation Related to Smart Borders Package for Consultation

Finland’s Ministry of the Interior has sent a draft government legislation for consultation regarding the Border Crossing Information System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

The proposal attempts to make the changes to national law required by the regulations of the European Parliament and the Council, available on both systems, reports.

“The term ‘smart borders’ refers to automation and new technology introduced in border controls. This means, e.g. border crossing automation, EU-wide registration of border crossing data and pre-registration on the Internet of visa-free travellers from third countries, i.e. outside the EU. The changes do not include citizens of Finland or other Schengen countries,” the Legislative Adviser Anne Ihanus pointed out in this regard.

The border crossing information system, among others, attempts to improve the identification of all people at the external borders wishing to enter the European countries.

The EES (Entry-Exit System) Regulation establishes a new information system that prioritises the improvement of external borders. In addition, the new strategy seeks to prevent illegal immigration and ease the management of migration flows.

The system also aims to register the border crossing data of third-country nationals permitted to enter the EU Member States for a short stay and calculate the duration of their authorised stay.

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX) has announced that it will soon launch the Entry-Exit System (EES) pilot project, which is designed to replace passport stamps and tighten border controls in the EU.

“Border authorities may process data in the EES, visa authorities and immigration authorities. In addition, the police, the Border Guard and Customs have the right to access the system for the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and serious crime,” Finland’s Ministry of the Interior has announced through a statement.

According to authorities in Finland, the EES system will be implemented in May 2022.

Finnish Ministry of the Interior has emphasised that the Border Guard is Finland’s national European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) authority. Such a system that will make advance checks of visa-free travellers by 2022 processes its applications mainly automatically. The ETIAS Central Unit, under the management of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex, “forwards requests for further processing to the national units for manual processing.”

In 2020, Frontex announced that it is looking forward to finding industry solutions for testing and implementing EES-compliant equipment, including complete technological solutions and testing various EES technical solutions.

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