On 14 December, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the draft law “Amendments to the Law on the State Border of the Republic of Latvia”, drafted by the Ministry of the Interior, which establishes the right of Latvian authorities to access the Entry/Exit System (EES), for submission to the Saeima for consideration.
The EES is to be established in accordance with Regulation 2017/2226 of the European Parliament and of the Council. The system will record the entry and exit of third-country nationals authorized to stay for a short period in the territory of the Member States, as well as information on refusal of entry of third-country nationals crossing the external borders of the Schengen area.
The draft law provides that in order to prevent, detect or investigate terrorist offences or other serious criminal offences, the State Security Service, the State Police, the State Border Guard, the Internal Security Bureau, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the Military Police, the Military Intelligence and Security Service, the Constitutional Protection Bureau and the State Revenue Service will have the right to view EES data.
In turn, Regulation 2017/2226 provides for the establishment of a Central Access Point to ensure access to EES data by these authorities. In Latvia, the State Security Service, the State Border Guard and the State Police will act as the Central Access Point.
The Central Access Point should not only ensure the verification of the validity of the authorities’ requests, but also meet the requirements of Regulation 2017/2226 regarding the security of data processing.
The Entry/Exit system will improve the efficiency of border checks and provide automatic solutions for identifying those who exceed their authorized period of residence. The EES is expected to start operating in the second half of 2022.