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Call for evidence launched on Electronic Border Management

1 March 2024

The House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee today invites written contributions to its inquiry on electronic border management systems.


Visitors to the UK from some countries require a visa whereas visitors from other countries do not. For visitors not requiring a visa, the UK has recently begun phasing in a new ‘Electronic Travel Authorisation’ (ETA). Ultimately all non-visa visitors will be required to have an ETA. 

Meanwhile, the EU is preparing to introduce two new schemes which will affect the way that third country nationals, including British citizens, enter the Schengen Zone. The Entry/Exit System (EES) will be a new process to track inwards and outwards travel of visitors, and will require non-EU citizens to submit facial images, fingerprints and other information when they enter the Schengen Zone. The Electronic Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is similar to the UK’s ETA for non-visa nationals and will be implemented after the EES is introduced.

The Committee previously looked at the UK’s preparedness for the launch of the EU schemes, which have been delayed since their original target launch date.

This new inquiry looks at these schemes in the round, including what they say about the future of borders and how they will affect travel into and out of the UK.

Topics the Committee is seeking evidence on include:

  • Global trends towards the introduction of electronic travel authorisation schemes, and how they differ between countries
  • Potential risks associated with electronic travel authorisation schemes and lessons from other countries
  • The impact on individuals, including those refused an ETA or dual nationals travelling between countries where an ETA or equivalent is required
  • How the introduction of the ETA affects the Common Travel Area
  • What the Government could do to help promote awareness of the ETA
  • What the Government could do to prepare for the introduction of the EU schemes
  • Wider issues relating to the Government’s strategy on electronic borders and Home Office capability

The Committee invites interested individuals and organisations to submit written evidence by 25 March.

Chair’s Comments

Lord Foster of Bath, Chair of the Committee, said:

"The Committee is interested to understand the global trend towards the introduction of electronic travel authorisation schemes and how the UK’s version compares with others.

"The ETA has already been introduced as a requirement for citizens of some countries with little fanfare. The Government intends to roll out the scheme quickly, so that it applies to citizens of many other countries soon, including visitors from the EU. Ultimately, we want to find out what the UK will gain from the scheme and whether it is possible to improve border security in a way that does not inconvenience legitimate travellers.

"We are also interested to hear more about the upcoming launch of the EU schemes. When the Committee previously looked at this issue in 2021, it expressed concerns about many of the logistical and political challenges they presented. With the EES now expected to launch by the end of this year, we would like to find out whether the UK is now better prepared—and who is responsible for promoting general public awareness."

Further information

Image: Darren Baker-