EU considers 'electronic entry clearance'

The European Union is considering introducing entry clearance where travellers would have to apply on the internet before crossing into the EU, an EU Commission spokesman said Tuesday.

 EU considers 'electronic entry clearance'
The European Union is considering introducing entry clearance where travellers would have to apply on the internet before crossing into the EU, an EU Commission spokesman said Tuesday.

"We are considering introducing this here. But a final decision has not yet been made," he said in Brussels.

The spokesman confirmed that high officials of the commission and the United States Department of Homeland Security had discussed US plans to store flight passenger data and to facilitate the entry of EU citizens without visas.

From August 1, the US has been receiving 19 instead of the previous 34 details on passengers from the EU.

Electronic entry clearance should "not encumber legal travel unnecessarily, but make it easier," according to the spokesman.

It also had to be decided whether the new measure would actually improve travel security, he added.

Which countries would be affected had yet to be decided.

"It has not even been decided whether we want anything like this at all. Therefore there aren't any details on decisions," the spokesman said.

Australia, where the electronic system has replaced visas, has had some positive experience with electronic entry clearance for years.

The EU interior ministers in Brussels are due to discuss the entry issue on September 18.

By then, the Commission intends to be able to give more detailed information on the storage of passenger data by US authorities.

Officials of the Ministry of Homeland Security had indicated that Washington was also still unclear about some of the details.

DPA
Last Mod: 07 Ağustos 2007, 18:31
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