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Port of Dover extension could ease new checks on UK-France crossings

The EU Entry/Exit System (EES) is expected to disrupt travel when introduced next year - extra space at Dover may help

Around 13ha of land is being reclaimed from the sea at the Port of Dover Pic: Kelvin Atkins / Shutterstock

Land being reclaimed from the sea at the Port of Dover could be partly used to ease delays when the EU’s new border process – the Entry/Exit System (EES) – launches in around a year.

Around 13ha of land is being reclaimed and port officials are looking at spending £2million to adapt it for passengers and not just cargo use. 

An app may be developed to allow part of the EES process to be done before arrival.

Announcements are awaited this month regarding the start date of EES, which has been delayed several times and is not expected until after the 2024 Paris Olympics at the earliest.

10 minute check instead of 90 seconds

The Connexion asked the Port of Dover if tablet computers will be used for ferry car passengers, as is planned at French ports, and kiosks where coach passengers will have to exit the coach to register. We are awaiting an update.

Read more: ‘Data kiosks’ to be put at French borders for EU entry checks

EES will collect details of non-EU visitors, including photo, fingerprints and passport number, and will log Schengen area arrival and departure dates.

Last year port boss Doug Bannister said he understood that the process could take two minutes for cars boarding, plus another two minutes per passenger, so 10 minutes for a family of four. Currently it takes 90 seconds.

“But with a tablet, what happens if there is a child asleep, or if it is a dark, stormy night and the lighting is inappropriate?” he said at the time.

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