Taiwan and Italy open e-Gate fast clearance for each other’s travelers
Traveling to Italy has become more convenient! At a ceremony held by Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior in Taoyuan today (Sept. 26), the Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung and the head of Italy’s Office of Economic, Commerciale and Cultural Promotion in Taipei, Davide Giglio, announced that Taiwan has become the eighth non-EU country in the world to use Italy’s automatic customs clearance system. Italian travelers visiting Taiwan can also use Taiwan’s automatic inspection and customs clearance system (e-Gate) under a joint agreement. This is expected to help boost tourism and trade between the two sides.
Minister Hsu Kuo-yung said that in June of this year, Taiwan established a reciprocal use of e-Gate with Italy. At the ceremony, it officially announced that Italian passengers coming to Taiwan will only need an Italian e-passport valid for more than 6 months to enter Taiwan. Passengers who have not violated any laws and regulations can register for free to use our e-Gate to enter and leave Taiwan. (Note: An e-passport, also known as a biometric passport or a digital passport, is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder.)
In addition, Taiwanese travelers visiting Italy will not need to apply for this program in advance. They only need to scan their e-passport’s photo page at a gate of an Italian airport and pass the face and fingerprint scanning, and they can enter or exit automatically. At present, in addition to Taiwan, only seven countries, including the United States, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Israel enjoy such convenient and time-saving services in Italy.
The Ministry of the Interior said that the United States, South Korea and Australia have used Taiwan’s e-Gate to quickly clear customs. As of the end of August this year, the total number of passengers applying for registration from these three countries has exceeded 210,000. This is undoubtedly a milestone in Taiwan’s promotion of the Trusted Passenger Program, the ministry said. By the end of this year, the government will also complete the construction of a new generation of e-Gates. In addition to speeding up passenger clearance, it is more conducive to Taiwan's continued use of e-Gate with other countries to create safer and more convenient border services.
The Ministry of the Interior’s National Immigration Agency today also held the "International Conference on Border Management" jointly with the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and Taoyuan International Airport Co., Ltd. More than 200 VIPs, including representatives from domestic and foreign government agencies, airlines, experts and scholars participated in the conference and shared experiences in national border management in various countries and in the latest technology customs clearance services available. This can be considered a major annual event for border enforcement agencies in the world.
Hsu Kuo-yung emphasized that although Taiwan faces a difficult international situation, it still insists on getting involved on important international issues. Under the tide of globalization, whether it is to prevent the invasion of African swine fever, or to prevent human trafficking and combat human smuggling crimes, it is necessary to work more closely with various countries to effectively counter the illegalities. He emphasized that government agencies must advance with the times, make good use of emerging digital technology, and allow the agencies to become more effective and bring about greater benefits to travelers.
The Ministry of the Interior pointed out that the overseas speakers invited to the conference this time included representatives of immigration law enforcement agencies, such as the US Department of Homeland Security, the German Federal Police, the British Consulate General in Hong Kong, and the Japanese Ministry of Justice’s entry and exit management office. This year, special focus was placed on combatting the Invasion of African swine fever. Russell Caplen, director of the Animal and Plant Quarantine Office of the American Institute in Taiwan, and representatives of Taiwan’s four major agencies guarding its airports (C.I.Q.S.) jointly discussed border epidemic prevention and inter-agency cooperation mechanisms. It’s hoped that everyone can learn from one another through this seminar so that the nations and territories involved can further improve national border security and customs clearance services.