Companies arranging business trips to Europe will encounter a new fee, next year, as part of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).
This €7 fee is expected to be implemented in November 2023 and will apply to foreign visitors aged 18 to 70 years old.
As Laura Busby, Commercial Director, Good Travel Management, explains, to enter the Schengen Zone, travellers from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain ETIAS authorization through an official website or app before their journey.
ETIAS represents an electronic travel authorization system specifically designed to pre-screen travellers from visa-exempt countries before their arrival in the Schengen Zone. Its primary goal is to enhance security by identifying potential risks while facilitating legitimate travel within the region. As a result, professionals engaged in business travel to countries requiring ETIAS will also be affected.
Regardless of the purpose of your journey, whether you are a CEO presenting at a conference, a sales representative meeting clients, or an entrepreneur assessing new business opportunities, having a clear grasp of the requirements and implications of ETIAS is vital.
Fortunately, for most travellers, the application for ETIAS authorisation will be swiftly approved, with the Commission estimating about 95 percent of applicants will receive approval within minutes. However, in some cases, it may take up to 30 days for approval.
The obtained authorisation will be required for entry into all countries in the Schengen area, and it will remain valid for three years or until the expiration date of the traveller’s travel document. During border checks, border guards will verify the ETIAS authorisation along with other travel documents, like passports.
Once ETIAS becomes mandatory, it will introduce an additional step in the travel planning process for professionals intending to visit the Schengen Zone. Business travellers from visa-exempt countries will need to complete an online application, provide personal information, and undergo security checks to obtain their ETIAS authorisation.
To ensure a smooth and hassle-free business travel experience within the Schengen Zone under the new ETIAS, companies and travellers should consider the following steps…”
Familiarise yourself with the changes
Stay informed about the specific ETIAS requirements, including the necessary information for the application, the fee structure, and any additional documents that may be requested.
Travel requirements may evolve over time, so it’s vital to stay up to date with any updates or changes to the ETIAS regulations. Regularly consult official sources and be aware of any modifications that will help you adapt your travel plans accordingly and prevent any unwanted surprises during your journey.
By following these proactive steps, you can optimise your business travel to the Schengen Zone and make the most of your experience while complying with ETIAS regulations.
Compliance is key
If your business involves multiple employees traveling to the Schengen Zone, it’s essential to communicate the ETIAS requirements to all relevant staff members. Provide them with clear guidance on how to apply for the authorization and support them in navigating the process. Ensuring compliance with the new regulations will prevent any last-minute complications during travel.
Remember to account for the additional step of obtaining an ETIAS authorization. Allocate sufficient time for the application process and consider potential processing delays. If managing travel arrangements becomes overwhelming, outsourcing to a Travel Management Company can be a wise choice.
These companies have a team of skilled travel experts dedicated to booking, managing, and optimising your business travel experience, easing the burden, and ensuring smooth travel.