No advance on US biometric passport deadline

EU and US officials have held talks on border and transport security but could report no progress on the issue of mandatory biometric passports.

One of the main issues discussed at the talks on 19 May was whether there would be an extension to the October 2005 deadline set by the US as the date from which EU citizens will require biometric passports to enter the US without a visa. 

Despite close questioning at a press conference following the talks, neither Jonathan Faull, EU Director-General for freedom security and justice, nor Randy Beardsworth, of the US Department of Homeland Security would give a definite position.

The talks are part of a continuing dialogue and take place twice per year. Other issues discussed were the US ‘no-fly’ lists, the forthcoming review of the passenger name records system (see EURACTIV 29 June 2004) and the extension of the visa waiver programme to the new EU member states. Both sides declared themselves satisfied with the progress of the talks on general areas of co-operation on border and transport security.

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