EU Plans Five-euro Security Check For Visitors

EU plans five-euro security check for visitors

BRUSSELS, , (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Nov, 2016 ) - The EU unveiled plans Wednesday to charge travellers five Euros ($5.30) for security checks to get visa-free travel to Europe's borderless Schengen area, and confirmed the fee would apply to post-Brexit Britain.

The proposal is based on a US system and will allow EU countries to quickly cross check identity documents and other details from visa-exempt travellers with a host of data bases. Nationals from nearly 60 countries are exempt from having visas to the Schengen zone, including those from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Chile, Argentina as well as neighbours like Albania and Bosnia.

Under the proposed new system, citizens from those countries would still be allowed visa-free travel, but would have to pay the five-euro fee and submit to the checks.

"This is a big and smart step to securing our borders and protecting our citizens," European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans told a press conference in Brussels.

"Travellers from visa-exempt third countries can do it at home online. It will be cheap -- five euros -- easy and last for five years. "For 95 percent of applications it will be just a matter of minutes to get a green light." Britain has criticised the proposal amid fears that Britons will have to pay the charge, but the EU was unrepentant.

"If the UK is not a member of the European Union, sorry to say it is still to be treated as a third country on this issue" and so have to pay, EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told the press conference.