German Federal Police

Smart Borders: Pilot Project Trialling the sustained optimisation of Border Control Processes towards the Introduction of an EU Entry/Exit System

The Smart Borders programme is a European Commission initiative which aims to improve the efficiency of entry and exit for non-EU citizens. By means of an Entry/Exit System (EES), the objective is to introduce ‘smart’ control to the external borders of the Schengen area, to increase security and convenience using improved control procedures, and to allow pre-vetted frequent travellers to pass through the border more quickly.

During an EU pilot project lasting nine months, various technical alternatives for capturing travellers’ biometric data were tested at the German pilot locations at Frankfurt Airport and the Rostock-Warnemünde cruise ship terminal. At the same time, procedural changes that would result from the introduction of an entry/exit system were examined, together with the impact of these changes on border control as a whole. In this respect, Germany was the only EU Member State to conduct comprehensive end-to-end trials of EES-specific control processes and to evaluate the impact on the planned border control procedure. The Commission’s pilot project officially ended in November 2015. However, the German parties involved are continuing the project  through further pilot options at a national level until the middle of 2017, to gain more in-depth knowledge over a longer period of time.

secunet supported the German parties involved in the project – the Federal Police, the Federal Office for Information Security and the Federal Office of Administration – during the entire project, provided assistance throughout the set-up and implementation phase, designed and managed the processes, evaluated results, and supplied the state-of-the-art border control technology. Solutions in use at the German installations for the Smart Border pilot project include the secunet eID PKI Suite, a public key infrastructure specifically for the management of identity documents, secunet bocoa, an optimised border control application for the processing of travellers by border control personnel, and the automated border control system secunet easygate. The secunet easykiosk is also being trialled at Frankfurt Airport – a self-service kiosk where Third Country Nationals (TCN) can capture their personal and biometric data on their own to simplify and speed up border control. The secunet bioserver, which evaluates biometric features centrally in the EES, is used to subsequently analyse and assess the quality of biometric data captured during the pilot.