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Portugal invests €2.5M in biometrics collection equipment for EU border system

Portugal invests €2.5M in biometrics collection equipment for EU border system

The Portuguese government has announced it will invest up to €2.5 million (roughly $2.75 million) to deploy biometric data collection equipment compliant with the EU border Entry/Exit System (EES).

An ordinance published in the Diário da República (the country’s official gazette) this week charged the Foreigners and Borders Office (SEF), or the entity that assumes control of borders should it be replaced, to take charge of the contract.

In particular, the contract calls for the acquisition, installation, technical assistance, and maintenance of biometric data collection equipment at manual border checkpoints. The investment will be financed at 75 percent by the country’s Internal Security Fund.

According to the ordinance, the investment follows guidelines historically adopted by the European Council, which underline the need for effective management of the common external borders of the European Union through a new phase of the Smart Borders initiative.

The Portuguese government said this not only will facilitate the passage of the vast majority of travelers from third countries but also support the fight against irregular migration by creating a register of all transnational movements of citizens according to the principle of proportionality.

The proposed investment comes at a time of delays for the EES. Days ago, the EU reportedly unveiled plans to delay fingerprint and facial scans for travelers.

There are already biometric e-gates in operation at some of Portugal’s airports.

More recently, the European border agency Frontex invited border check tool makers to submit their products to try and speed up the process.

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