Preparing for ETIAS: Ensuring Smooth Business Travel in Europe

businesswoman and businessman walking through an airport corridor

In an ever-changing global landscape, travel and immigration regulations play a crucial role in maintaining security while facilitating international business. The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is a new development in Europe that aims to streamline travel procedures and enhance border control security measures within the Schengen Zone.

The program has been in the works for several years now and has been delayed. Though the official launch date has yet to be confirmed, it is now expected ETIAS will be operational in 2024.

In this blog post, we explore ETIAS requirements , why it’s being implemented, who it impacts, how it affects business travel and what companies need to know ahead of its official implementation.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS is an electronic travel authorization system designed to pre-screen travelers from visa-exempt countries before their arrival in the Schengen Zone. It aims to enhance security measures by identifying potential risks while facilitating legitimate travel within the area. 

Similar to other electronic travel authorization systems, such as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization for US citizens (ESTA) s, ETIAS requirements compel travelers to complete an online application and undergo security checks before their trip.

Why is ETIAS being implemented?

The implementation of ETIAS is driven by the EU’s commitment to reinforcing security measures and managing immigration effectively.

By conducting pre-screening checks, the EU aims to identify security risks and irregular migrants, strengthening the integrity of the Schengen Zone. ETIAS acts as a crucial tool in addressing these concerns while preserving the principle of free movement within the area.

Who does ETIAS impact?

ETIAS will impact travelers from visa-exempt countries, including professionals engaged in business travel, who travel to the 30 countries requiring ETIAS. Whether you are an executive attending a conference, a sales representative meeting clients, or an entrepreneur exploring new market opportunities, it’s essential to be aware of the requirements and implications of ETIAS.

How will ETIAS security measures impact business travel in Europe?

When ETIAS security measures become mandatory, it will introduce an additional step in the travel planning process for professionals visiting the Schengen Zone.

Business travelers from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain an ETIAS authorization before their trip. This involves completing an online application, providing personal information and undergoing security checks. 

While the majority of applications are expected to be approved swiftly, it is advised to allow sufficient time for the application process.

Take the following steps

Taking the following steps can greatly facilitate your organization’s business travel to the Schengen Zone under the new ETIAS:

  • Familiarize yourself with ETIAS requirements: Stay informed about the specific requirements of ETIAS, such as the necessary information for the application, the fee structure, and any additional documents that may be requested.
  • Plan ahead and allow ample time: Take into account the additional step of obtaining an ETIAS authorization when planning business travel to the Schengen Zone. Allocate enough time for the application process and potential processing delays.
  • Ensure compliance across your organization: Communicate the ETIAS requirements to employees and provide guidance on how to apply. Companies should support their employees in navigating the process and ensure compliance with the new regulations.
  • Stay updated with changes:Keep track of any updates or changes to the ETIAS requirements , as travel regulations may evolve over time. Regularly consult official sources to remain informed.

Looking ahead to ETIAS implementation

The implementation of ETIAS signifies the EU’s commitment to enhancing security and immigration management  effectively within the Schengen Zone. GoGlobal is dedicated to tracking the latest developments regarding ETIAS security measures, helping our clients stay informed and compliant.

While ETIAS will introduce an additional step in the travel planning process for professionals, staying up to date on developments, planning ahead and ensuring compliance will help mitigate any potential disruptions.

By understanding the impact of ETIAS security measures on business travel in Europe, companies and professionals can adapt their strategies and ensure seamless travel experiences within the Schengen Zone.

Contact us and connect with one of our international HR experts to discuss how to maintain compliance with your cross-border business.