Frontex Entry Exit System Pilot Project

As the world emerges from the pandemic and traveller numbers continue to rise again, solutions are needed for a quick, seamless, and preferably touchless border crossing experience, while ensuring security. The Entry Exit System (EES) will change the way we cross borders and help protect the security of European citizens centralising the information on border crossings.

The system will register travellers from non-EU countries – both short-stay visa holders and visa exempt travellers, each time they cross an EU external border. It will register the traveller’s name, travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial image) and the date and place of entry or exit, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection.

Frontex has just completed the Entry Exit System pilot project at land borders, which was hosted by Spain and Bulgaria. The exercise simulated the future EES environment by collecting and cross-checking the required data in full compliance with fundamental rights and personal data protection measures. During the trial, four travellers could be processed at the same time under the supervision of one border guard, proving the efficiency of the system while maintaining direct control of law enforcement officers.

As part of the trial, practical demonstrations of the systems took place at Bulgaria’s border with Turkey and Spain’s border with the UK (Gibraltar) and included self-service kiosks, seamless corridors and mobile devices used for registration and verification of travellers.

Participants observed the processing of passengers and received feedback from colleagues operating the system. The lessons learned and practical operational outcomes will be used by Member States’ border authorities and European agencies alike as the EU prepares for the implementation of the EES.