DOVER is facing travel chaos next year after the port boss warned border checks on cars could rocket from the current 45 seconds to 10 MINUTES.
The EU is due to introduce a new Entry-Exit System in May with travellers having to undergo a series of biometric checks including fingerprints and captured facial images.
It will mean every passenger in a vehicle arriving at the port will have to register for the new system, sparking fresh fears of travel chaos and miles of queues.
Dover Port chief executive Doug Bannister warned yesterday: “Right now, EES will work well in major airports or rail terminals with large, well-lit rooms.
“But there has been no process designed – none, zero zip – for a busy ferry terminal to process car loads of passengers on dark stormy nights.
“Even at the busiest times right now, with new post-Brexit rules, passport checks are taking 45 to 90 seconds per car.
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"With the pre-registration involved a car with a family of four or five in it could take up to 10 minutes.
“The government should be urgently discussing with their French and EU counterparts how this is going to work.
"Our port handles £144billion of trade a year and more than 11million passengers.
“There needs to be serious consideration to having the process happen outside the port or even at home.
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“If we get handed a process that doesn’t work for our business model and terminal and are forced to implement it it will have a dramatic detrimental impact on trade and travel.”
The new system is due to be implemented in May 2023, with a new European visa waiver scheme that will see every traveller having to pay seven euros – around £6.30 – due to start in November.
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The Eitas scheme – modelled on the current US Esta scheme will mean applying and paying for a visa waiver that will last three years.
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