Exit Checks Introduced at UK Borders
Posted at : 08/04/2015
By: Jamie Curtis
Passengers leaving the UK on scheduled trips by plane, ferry or the Channel Tunnel will now be subject to exit checks, during which their passports will be scanned and data will be collected. The government already had access to information on passengers flying in and out of the UK following the introduction of the API system in 2004.
The new measure has been brought in to further tighten immigration routes and identify visa abuse. It will also help the UK Border Control and security services track criminals and suspected terrorists. There are worries over the disruption that could result from these new policies, brought in under the Immigration Act in 2014, however attempts are being made to minimise any potential problems.
For the first month, all passports will be scanned but only 25% of holders will have their details verified to ensure that they are genuine. The following two months should see verification levels reach 50% and eventually 100%, as the process speeds up. The spokesman of P&O Ferries admitted that “the actual scanning of passports is quick, it’s the verification that takes longer.”
The initial reports from ferry and Eurotunnel stations in Dover and Folkestone respectively, have suggested that the new system is running smoothly so far.
Publish Date: 08/04/2015 16:30