Further to the announcement on Wednesday in the Chancellors Spring Statement, BAR UK have now received further details in a letter from Paul Lincoln, Director General, Border Force.
The abolishing of landing cards will commence in June and in the first instance only applies to nationals from the seven countries eligible for the ePassport Gate extension (US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea).
The following was advised in the letter from Paul Lincoln:
These changes form part of a long-term programme of work to develop a new global border and immigration system, which will improve the passenger experience through the border whilst maintaining security, and is the result of extensive consultations with industry partners and trade bodies.
In reaching these decisions we took careful note of your clear feedback that we need to drive forward actions that make crossing the border as seamless as possible for passengers.
By widening the eligible cohorts to use ePassport gates and removing paper landing cards for these travellers, we are moving further towards automation with clear benefits for passengers. The move to digital data systems increases security by enhancing our access to verifiable data about passengers before they arrive in the UK and allow us to better target threats.
We are currently finalising the details of this change and we will provide further details in due course.
BAR UK requested further clarification today on whether the initiative applies to all nationals of those seven countries or just those that meet eligibility for ePassport Gates and have received the following response Q&A from Border Force:
Landing Cards Expansion Q&A
Q: What do you mean by ‘begin to abolish landing cards from June’? Who will benefit initially?
A: Citizens of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea will be exempt from the landing card requirement from June. This represents the majority of passengers. Our ambition is to go further and the next steps in this process will be communicated in due course.
Q: What does this actually mean in practice?
A: As the Chancellor has set out, we will begin to abolish the need for landing cards for non-EEA arrivals in June. Further details of this process will be communicated in due course. This forms part of a long-term programme of work to develop a new global border and immigration system, which will improve the passenger experience through the border whilst maintaining security and is the result of extensive consultations with industry partners, law enforcement stakeholders and trade bodies.
Q: Why is it restricted to certain nationalities from June?
A: As set out in the statement yesterday we will begin to abolish the need for landing cards for non-EEA arrivals in June. This is in line with the widening of e-Passport gate use for certain nationalities. The ambition is to go further and the next steps in the process will be communicated in due course.
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