Entry/Exit System (EES)

The Entry/Exit System (EES) is an information system for managing the external Schengen-borders. The aim of the European Commission’s EES project is to modernise border control, improve security within the Schengen area and increase the efficiency of border checks by automating numerous border control procedures, in order to cope with the continuously increasing number of travelers.  

The EES registers all third-country nationals entering and leaving the Schengen area and automatically calculates their duration of stay. It will replace the current manual practice of stamping passports. The EES will facilitate the detection of irregular migration by exposing people who overstay their authorised duration of stay. Additionally, it will help the authorities to carry out checks inside the Schengen area, by identifying people travelling without identity documents with greater accuracy. This is achieved through the use of biometric indicators such as facial images and fingerprints.

State of work at EU level

Following the adoption of the EES directive and the necessary amendment to the Schengen Border Code by the European Parliament in December 2017, the EU IT agency, eu-LISA, began work to develop and implement a central EES system. The system is expected to go into operation throughout the Schengen area in the 1st quarter of 2022.

State of work in Switzerland

Switzerland was notified about this Schengen development on 17 January 2018 and has two years to implement it in legislative form. On 21 November 2018, the Federal Council adopted the dispatch on implementing the EES bill and forwarded it to Parliament.

With regard to the technical and organisational implementation, the SEM launched the national ‘EES’ project in September 2016. After successfully completing the mandatory assessment for large-scale ICT projects by the Federal IT Steering Unit, the EES project was given clearance in June 2018.

Implementing EES in Switzerland will require amendments to laws and alterations to the border control infrastructure. With regard to the infrastructure at the borders, Switzerland will have to introduce an appropriate IT system and establish a connection to the central EES database.

The SEM is actively involved at EU level in the realization of the EES project through the working groups of the European Commission and the IT agency, eu-LISA.

Documentation

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