EU sources have confirmed that ETIAS will not be operational in 2024

EU sources have confirmed yet another delay in the launch of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). Despite previous claims by the EU that ETIAS would be operational by mid-2024, an EU official disclosed to that the new go-live date for ETIAS has been pushed back to May 2025.

Initial hopes were for the Entry/Exit System (EES) to become operational by the end of the current year or at the beginning of the next. However, due to unforeseen setbacks, it became evident that this timeline was unattainable. Consequently, the implementation of ETIAS has been rescheduled for May 2025, with the potential for further postponement.

The Entry/Exit System (EES) is an additional EU border security system, designed to automatically register third-country travelers each time they cross an EU external border. Both EES and ETIAS have been consistently postponed, and they are closely intertwined. While EES can function independently, ETIAS cannot become operational without EES.

Anitta Hipper, the EU Commission’s Spokesperson for Home Affairs, Migration, and Internal Security, emphasized that ETIAS cannot be effective without EES, stating that the entry into operation of ETIAS is contingent on EES becoming operational five to six months prior.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also confirmed the ETIAS postponement, targeting a launch in 2025 without specifying a precise timeframe. Additionally, the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration has indicated that ETIAS is unlikely to become operational before May 2025.

As of now, the earliest anticipated date for ETIAS to go live is May 2025. However, the EU Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs has not provided a specific implementation date yet, with an announcement expected by the end of 2023.

EES, on the other hand, remains scheduled for implementation in 2024, with the eu-LISA expected to announce a precise date in the coming months, likely before the year’s end. Despite a suggestion by the Belgian delegation to decouple ETIAS from other databases to expedite its effectiveness in May 2024, no progress has been made toward this proposal.