19 Jun

Representing members on big changes to travelling to Europe

There are two big changes coming down the line for UK travellers going to Europe - the EU’s Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). There is much still to be clarified as to how and when they will be introduced and ABTA is working closely with our contacts in the EU and also the UK Government to try to establish more information.   

Earlier this week, ABTA’s Luke Petherbridge was in Brussels meeting with officials responsible for implementing EES and ETIAS. Also this week, colleagues from the ABTA public affairs, destinations and communications teams attended a meeting about the systems with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and the public affairs team also met with the Department of Transport; these are two of the UK government departments working on the changes, and the meetings are a chance for ABTA to raise queries or concerns on behalf of our members.

Our engagement with the authorities in the EU and UK involves seeking clarification or further information on how these new processes will work. Additionally, we are raising concerns about how some ports and smaller airports will be able to manage passengers given EES will initially add time to the border process.  

It’s also an opportunity for us to find out more about the EU and UK Government’s plans to communicate the changes to the UK travel trade and consumers. When the time is right, we will also have our own communications activities in place to raise awareness and support members in assisting your customers.  

Where we have new or updated information for members, we are adding that to the information in the ABTA MemberZone and, where relevant, the consumer advice page – http://www.abta.com/eesandetias.  

As a reminder, the exact dates are still to be confirmed for when both systems will be in place; EES is expected in Autumn 2024 and ETIAS in mid-2025. As soon as we have more information on the dates, we will update you.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive