Carriers are you ready? – New European Regulations coming into force for TCNs entering the Schengen Area

by Gian Michele Mosca - HLS & Defence
by Florian Kariger - Business Consultant
by Brice Gaudin - Homeland Security, Defence & Aeroline Consulting Director
| minute read

If you are an air, sea, or land carrier and provide passenger transportation within the Schengen area you need to be aware of the EU regulations coming into force in September 2022. The regulations will screen the entry and exit to Europe of Third Country Nationals (TCN - any person who is not a European citizen as defined in Article 20(1) TFEU). They will apply to both private and public carriers, no matter what size.

As a leading developer of digital European security and border management systems, Sopra Steria’s goal is to assist carriers with the implementation of these new EU regulations.

What are the new systems for carriers?

To better manage European security and automate border control checks, two new systems to screen travellers will take effect this September, under a transition period, and will be fully mandatory by May 2024.

  • EES replaces the manual screening and stamping of passports and collects information on visitors entering the Schengen area, including the place and date of entry and exit.
  • ETIAS requires passengers to apply online for authorisation to travel before their journey begins.

The implementation of these systems and verification of compliance with the authorised period of stay will be the responsibility of Carriers that transport travellers into the Schengen area.

Which countries do the new regulations apply to?

The new systems apply to any of the 26 member states in the Schengen area. This includes countries that are part of the Schengen agreement but not in the European Union. The map below shows the countries that carriers transport passengers to that will be covered by this new legislation.

Carriers are you ready? – New European Regulations coming into force for TCNs entering the Schengen Area

Key dates

As a passenger carrier in the Schengen area, you should have been invited to register on the eu-LISA website (the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice). If you have not yet done so, you should contact eu-LISA as soon as possible.

The key dates for carriers to be aware of are:

  • End of 2022 – EES system to be operational
  • May - November 2023 – ETIAS transition period for optional use
  • November 2023 - May 2024 – ETIAS grace period allowing TCNs to enter the Schengen member states if for the first time since the end of the transition period

Once the new systems are operational, carriers will use the eu-LISA database to verify:

  • If TCNs issued with a short stay visa have used their authorised number of entries (EES)
  • If TCNs have the relevant travel authorisation (ETIAS)

Checks will have to be carried out 48 hours before a TCN travels into the Schengen area

The benefits of the new regulations

This digitalised form of border management aims to prevent the illegal crossing of borders and unauthorised stays in Schengen countries, which could result in penalties for Carriers transporting TCNs. It also aims to identify and prevent potential serious crimes such as terrorism, human and drug trafficking, and money laundering, which have all increased over the past few years.

In terms of benefits for carriers, the system will be smart and automated, making passenger screening much easier and more cost-effective.

How can carriers easily comply with the new regulations?

Sopra Steria are specialists in European security and border management digital systems and have developed the systems operated by eu-LISA. We can help you understand the impact the new systems may have on your carrier business and how you can minimise costs and manage the implementation effectively.

To learn how Sopra Steria can help your carrier business comply with the new border regulations and implement them successfully contact Brice Gaudin or Gian Michele Mosca and download our free white paper.