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15/ Feb

Legal news

International and European law — Personal data — Public law — Family Office

Schengen Area "Smart Borders": manual stamping of passports to be replaced by the automated Entry/Exit System (EES)

The Entry/Exit System (EES) adopted in 2017 by the European Union (Regulation (EU) No 2017/2226)[1] to electronically record data (on entries, exits and refusals of entry) of third-country nationals crossing the external borders of the Schengen area, should be operational at the end of the year (its launch initially planned in 2022, was postponed a first time to May 2023 then to November 2023).

The EES will replace the current system of manual stamping of passports.

Here are its key points:

Third-country nationals whose data will be recorded in the EES and the impact for Monaco:

The third-country nationals[2] whose data will be recorded in the EES are the following:

  • Third-country nationals crossing the external borders of the Schengen area and subject to a visa requirement, as well as persons exempted from a visa requirement and admitted for a short stay;[3]
  • Third country nationals who have been refused entry for a short stay.

The EES will apply for the entry and short stay of third country nationals in Monaco.

Although Monaco is not a party to the Schengen Convention, its territory is included in the Schengen area[4] as a result of the Franco-Monegasque Neighbourhood Convention of 18 May 1963.

The EES will record the data of persons wishing to enter the Principality who are subject to border checks, as well as persons exempted from this requirement (member of family of a EU citizen or of a national of a third country enjoying the right of free movement, who does not hold a residence permit) whose entry for a short stay (90 days at the most over a period of 180 days) has been accepted, but also in the event of refusal.

The purposes and functioning of the EES:

The European Union is adopting the EES not only to have reliable data on border crossings and to effectively detect overstayers, but also to combat terrorism and serious crime.

The system automatically calculates the length of authorised stay of third-country nationals and produces alerts to Member States when the authorised stay has expired. As the Monegasque authorities do not have access to these alerts, it is up to France to take them into account.

The EES includes an Internet service that will allow third-country nationals to check the remaining duration of their authorised stay.

The system will share information with border and visa authorities[5]. The data will also be made available to the European agencies Europol, Eurojust and Frontex.

The types of data stored in the EES and their retention period:

  • Identity data (surname, first name(s), date and place of birth; nationality(ies), gender);
  • Travel document data (type and number, three-letter code of issuing country, expiry date of validity);
  • Biometric data (facial image, fingerprints - fingerprint data of the hand);
  • Entry/exit data (date and time, border crossing point, authority, visa sticker number).
  • Data related to the withdrawal, cancellation or extension of a short stay permit.

The data retention period is 3 years for those who comply with the short stay rules, and 5 years for those who have overstayed their authorised period of stay.

Data processing and respect for the fundamental rights of individuals:

Any processing of EES data must be proportionate to the objectives pursued (improving the management of external borders, preventing illegal immigration, facilitating the management of migration flows, contributing to the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and other serious criminal offences, as provided for in the Regulation) and necessary for the performance of the tasks of the competent authorities.

Competent authorities shall respect the human dignity and integrity of the persons concerned and shall ensure that they are not discriminated against on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic characteristics, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.

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As a reminder:

Visas valid for the territory of the Principality are issued by the authority authorised to issue visas valid for French territory.

Monegasque nationals and foreigners holding a Monegasque residence permit may move freely within the Schengen area.

Even if a foreign national meets the Schengen criteria, he or she may still be refused entry by the Monegasque authorities if he or she is deemed undesirable in the Principality.

We can assist you with all procedures related to your move to Monaco.

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[1] Regulation (EU) No 2017/2226 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2017 establishing an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data and refusal of entry data of third-country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States and determining the conditions for access to the EES for law enforcement purposes, and amending the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement and Regulations (EC) No 767/2008 and (EU) No 1077/2011 (consolidated on 3 August 2021).

[2] Article 3, 1. 6) of Regulation (EU) No 2017/2226: “‘’third-country national’ means any person who is not a citizen of the Union within the meaning of Article 20(1) TFEU, with the exception of persons who enjoy the right of free movement equivalent to that of Union citizens under agreements between the Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and third countries, on the other;”

[3] Article 2, 1 of Regulation (EU) No 2017/2226: "1. This Regulation applies to: (a) third-country nationals admitted for a short stay to the territory of the Member States who are subject to border checks in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/399 when crossing the borders at which the EES is operated; and (b) third-country nationals, on entry to and exit from the territory of the Member States, who: (i) are members of the family of a Union citizen to whom Directive 2004/38/EC applies or of a national of a third country enjoying the right of free movement equivalent to that of Union citizens under an agreement between the Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and a third country, on the other; and (ii) do not hold a residence card pursuant to Directive 2004/38/EC or a residence permit pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002.

[4] The Schengen area includes the following other countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia (from 1 January 2023), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania are not part of the Schengen area.

The EES will operate at the external borders of those Member States which apply the Schengen acquis in full and at the borders of those Member States which - at the time the system starts operations - will not yet apply the Schengen acquis in full but will have successfully passed the Schengen evaluation procedure and obtained passive access to the Visa Information System (VIS) and full access to the Schengen Information System (SIS).

The Schengen acquis corresponds to the rules incorporated into European Union law, which govern the area known as the "Area of Freedom, Security and Justice" and the relations between the States that have signed the Schengen Convention.

[5] The EES is accessible to national authorities responsible for:

  • border control, police and customs checks;
  • prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences or other serious criminal offences;
  • adopting decisions on the entry, stay and return of third-country nationals, including decisions on residence permits and long-stay visas;
  • security checks on third-country nationals seeking international protection;
  • naturalization decisions;
  • prosecution in criminal proceedings and criminal investigations;
  • issuing registration certificates for vehicles, boats, aircraft and firearms.

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