On 25 April 2018, European policy makers concluded negotiations on a new legislation that will put in place a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), an equivalent to the well-known Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) introduced in the United States in 2008.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), representing 9,000-plus members that manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually, congratulates EU legislators for striking the right balance between enhancing security and avoiding unnecessary burdens on business travelers.
GBTA is pleased to see that its call for a fair and reasonable system for business travelers has been taken into account by EU legislators:
- The ETIAS fee will not exceed €7 and the ETIAS authorization will be valid for three years. This will allow for the system to be financially self-sufficient while not deterring business travel to the EU.
- Passengers simply transiting through a Schengen country will not have to request an ETIAS authorization.
- The system will apply to all visa-exempt applicants – without exemptions – between the ages of 18 and 70.
The system will allow EU Member States to conduct pre-travel screening to assess security and migration risks before issuing a Schengen visa, therefore closing the information gap on travelers entering the Schengen area without a visa. This will undoubtedly help identify any possible security concerns, thus contributing to improved travel safety as well as improved EU internal security.
ETIAS will also ease border control processes and provide visa-exempt business travelers with a reliable and early indication of their admissibility into the Schengen area.
GBTA would therefore like to call upon EU decision-makers to swiftly finalize the last legal steps to avoid any delays in the implementation of the system.