New border biometric checks “very bad news” for industry, says Logistics UK

London, UK: Logistics UK told the Commons Transport road freight inquiry session today that proposed new EU border biometric ID checks could result in 17-mile tailbacks at Dover, resulting in Operation Stack again.

Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at Logistics UK, told the inquiry chair Huw Merriman MP that biometric checks that take an extra two minutes per vehicle could result in these long delays at Dover.

Her comments follow a warning from the Port of Dover, which pointed out that new EU rules monitoring entry to the bloc’s passport-free Schengen Area next year would force lorry drivers and tourists to leave their vehicles for ID checks, leading to huge queues and traffic chaos,

Dover Harbour Board had stressed that there was “no way of doing” the biometric tests without getting drivers out of their vehicles.

De Jong told the inquiry session: “Yes, I imagine that if is to be implemented then we will need to have the same amount of contingencies as we were having for our worst case planning scenarios for Brexit and Operation Stack. It is very bad news indeed.”

She said that a better system would ensure that drivers remain with their vehicles and that ID checks would take the same amount of time as they currently did.

The EU’s entry-exit system, to monitor all non-EU travellers entering the Schengen Area, is due to come into force next April. It will require non-EU citizens to register a digital identification profile at checkpoints and undergo a biometric check

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