(NEW YORK) — As Americans head to packed airports for a summer vacation revival in Europe, it looks like next year will be more expensive for those heading to the European Union.
A tax of 7 euros, or $7.42, is set to come into effect in May 2023 for foreign visitors aged 18 to 70 under a new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) , according to the European Commission.
Under the system, travelers will need to apply for authorization via the official website or app before their trip abroad.
ETIAS aims to increase EU revenue and create a central repository of data on non-Europeans visiting the region.
“Border management authorities of EU member states currently have little information on visa-exempt travelers entering the EU,” said Frontex, the European Border Guard Agency. and Coastguard which will play a key role in the new system, in a statement.
“ETIAS will therefore be an important means of filling this information gap by supporting security screening and risk assessment of travellers, thus strengthening the internal security of the Schengen area,” the agency added.
The European Commission has stated that ETIAS will be a largely automated system used to identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks posed by visa-exempt visitors traveling to Schengen states, which refer to 26 European countries, including the France, Italy, Germany and Greece.
ETIAS will also facilitate border crossings for the vast majority of travelers who do not present the aforementioned risks.
The European Commission has stated that most travelers applying for ETIAS authorization will be approved within minutes. The estimated 5% of travelers who are not, according to the commission, could receive travel authorization in up to 30 days.
Once granted, the authorization will be valid for three years or until the expiry date of a person’s travel document, such as a passport.
The authorization will be checked by the border guards together with the other travel documents.
ETIAS was first proposed by the European Commission in 2016 and has since been negotiated under legislation by the commission. Now, the system will be enacted by mid-2023, the commission said.
“Our police and border guards must have the right tools to do their job – keeping our citizens and our borders safe. ETIAS will pre-screen visa-free visitors to detect possible security issues, while the enhanced eu-LISA will allow us to continue to modernize EU-wide information systems for law enforcement and border management,” Security Union Commissioner Julian King said following the 2018 agreement by the commission to establish ETIAS.
ETIAS adds to the pre-existing Schengen visa system, which did not require such authorization from visitors from at least fifty countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. .
The European Commission began discussing the new system after finding that around 30 million visitors came to the EU without being required to have a Schengen visa.
ETIAS has similar features to the United States Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which is available to travelers from countries with a Visa Waiver Program.
In May, ESTA fees went up from $14 to $21, according to US Customs and Border Protection.
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