European Entry and Exit system (EES) effect on cruise ships examined

2024-06-15T19:43:36+00:00 June 15th, 2024|Safety|

The European Commission (EC) will introduce a new Entry-Exit System (EES) for all member states in October, 2024.

This will involve new immigration procedures at cruise ports, including biometric checks (fingerprints and face recognition) on arrival and/or departure.

One of the major challenges is that the estimated time to inspect each cruise passenger could increase from 30-45 secs to two mins per passenger.

Depending on the size of the ship, the time to clear a full ship could take three to four times longer than usual and, potentially, have a negative impact on the passenger experience ashore.

In Copenhagen, preparatory work has started well ahead of time. Copenhagen Malmo Port (CMP) has, in co-operation with local stakeholders, established early contacts with the Danish Border Control (DBC) to identify which types of itineraries they chose to prioritise for inspections.

CMP’s Commercial Cruise Director, Luis de Carvalho said: “Having several constructive meetings with the Danish Border Control very early has allowed us to understand that they will most likely focus on inspecting 10-15 cruise calls a year, out of a possible 300 cruise calls. These calls primarily involve turnaround calls starting and ending in non-Schengen countries.

“In addition, we were able to understand their requirements in terms of flows and space necessary at the terminals to assure that while we are complying with the rules, we are also able to minimise possible inconveniences to the passenger,” he said.

In addition, the DBC will use its own smart mobile information to inspect the passengers at the terminal, which also facilitates the process.

De Carvalho continued: “We strongly recommend that each port initiates a dialogue with their own country immigration or border control authorities to understand how they intend to implement the rules. Furthermore, we encourage dialogue between member states for consistency in the application of the rules affecting the cruise industry.”

In the meantime, Cruise Europe said it is supporting the dialogue between the port and associate members, cruise lines and Frontex (EU’s European Border and Coast Guard Agency) to share relevant information and guidelines for a better understanding and an efficient implementation of the new procedures.


Picture credit: Simone Maraschi