For passengers intending to travel to the Alps on the Eurostar ski train this season, the authorities are increasing the checks which are made on board as the train originates outside the Schengen area. A new procedure has been put in place to deal with this which may cause delays.
Please see below a translation of the article we have been given by the French Authorities.
Subject: Intensifying checks on passengers from outside the Schengen area in Moutiers and Bourg Saint Maurice stations
The terrorist attacks which have struck France and several other countries over recent months and the persisting terrorist threat have made it necessary to intensify border controls at the frontiers of the Schengen area.
Accordingly, the Schengen frontier code was amended in April this year. All passengers, whether they are nationals of a non-European Union country or of a European Union country, will now be subject to systematic checks on entering and leaving the Schengen area at its air, sea and land borders.
These new, more complete, checks are likely to take much longer to carry out and to result in delays to Eurostar trains leaving Bourg Saint Maurice and Moûtiers stations.
Additionally, to limit the effects of these measures and with the agreement of the Eurostar company, a new procedure will be put in place this winter and will operate as follows:
- In the case of journeys from London to Moutiers or Bourg-Saint Maurice, the company will distribute a document which must be completed for every passenger (including minors) and show their identity, their date of birth, the date of their return journey by Eurostar as well as the number of the train to be taken on the return journey.
- this document will be collected by staff on board during the journey and passed to the French authorities on arrival at the destination.
The purpose of this procedure is to enable the customs services to carry out a certain number of checks in advance and to speed up the migratory controls on the day of departure.
Furthermore, and again to enable safety checks and migratory controls to be carried out as efficiently as possible without deferring the departure of trains, it would appear helpful to organise transfers of passengers from the resorts to the stations so that they are at their respective departure stations two hours before the train departs.
I should therefore be grateful if you would plan for these early arrivals and confirm to me and to the Mayors of Moutiers and Bourg-Saint-Maurice your agreement in this respect.
The Customs services have done everything possible to limit the consequences of this intensification of controls, but they need your full cooperation to ensure that the departure of holidaymakers is organised in accordance with the new regulations, while limiting as far as possible the inconvenience to your clients.