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Frontiers: Personal Records

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the general specifications and capability of the new system for monitoring travellers to and from UK ports of entry are; and what the timetable for its introduction is. (186471)

The e-Borders programme is a key component of the Government’s wider strategy to strengthen and modernise border controls. It is designed to complement the UK counter-terrorism strategy. The main purpose of the e-Borders programme is to collect and analyse passenger, service and crew data provided by carriers (air, sea and rail), in respect of all journeys to and from the United Kingdom in advance of their travel, supporting an intelligence-led approach to operating border controls.

The contract to deliver the e-Borders system was awarded to the Trusted Borders Consortium in November 2007. The programme will begin counting foreign nationals in and out of the country from October 2008, building upon the carrier data already captured in the Semaphore pilot. There will be a ramping up of existing capability in 2008 to handle data for 100 million (annualised) passenger movements by April 2009. The e-Borders operations centre (e-BOC) will be established by mid-2009 at the earliest, providing capture and watch list assessment of passenger data for an initially limited number of high priority passenger routes. The three stages of capability delivery are bound by the following milestones:

December 2009: Initial Operating Capability—which will deliver the capability to process 60 per cent. of passenger movements into and out of the UK;

December 2010: Major Operating Capability—which will deliver the capability to process 95 per cent. of passenger movements into and out of the UK and

March 2014: Full Operating Capability.