European, Chinese Experts Meet to Discuss Automated Border Control Systems

China is adopting automated border controls to process rapidly growing numbers of international travelers. Photo: IOM 2018

Shanghai – Over 140 million people crossed China’s borders between 2015 and 2016 – six per cent more than the previous year.  Managing this huge volume of people requires sophisticated information technology (IT) systems to facilitate the work of border and migration agencies.  

Like other countries across the globe, China is successfully implementing IT-based border management tools to manage growing numbers of travellers in order to reduce the time spent clearing immigration, improve security, and facilitate seamless cross-border travel.   

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is today organizing a two-day seminar in Shanghai on IT systems for border management, bringing together officials from the central and provincial levels of China's National Immigration Administration, and experts from European Union (EU) Member States and IOM to showcase various systems and identify best practices. 

The Chinese government at national and regional levels is already running pilot programmes for IT systems in border management. These include fingerprint scanning of all foreign travellers in Guangdong province, which was introduced in February 2017, and the use of e-gates for Chinese citizens and permanent residence card holders.  

IOM border management specialist Dr. Erik Slavenas told seminar participants that international cooperation will play a key role in the adoption of the new technologies. “To achieve the full potential of the use of automated border controls, we need to intensify the role of UN agencies in international cooperation and information sharing,” he said. 

The seminar, which included a field visit to Shanghai’s Pudong airport, is part of a series of technical exchanges under the framework of the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support project, funded by the European Union Partnership Instrument. 

For further information please contact Etienne Micallef at IOM China. , Tel:+86105 979 9695. Email: