In August of last year, Finland launched a pilot program to test its Digital Travel Credential (DTC) with real passengers in real-life border control situations. The DTC is designed to facilitate smooth and efficient border crossings without compromising security. Essentially, the process simply required participating passengers to look at a camera and place their passport on a designated reader device.

In January, the pilot project was expanded to allow the use of the DTC for departures and arrivals via 22 Finnair destinations.

Participation in the pilot program was voluntary, and participants were required to be Finnish citizens of legal age and to hold a valid Finnish passport. The pilot also tested a digital residence permit with a 2D barcode for passengers requiring temporary protection.

The Finnish Border Guard wrapped up the DTC pilot project at the end of March and has reported the following statistics:

  • 466 individuals volunteered to participate in the pilot.
  • 355 DTC border checks were successfully processed.
  • The DTC border check process took an average of just eight seconds, considerably faster than a traditional check does.

As with most pilot programs, some technical glitches arose, and adjustments were made. Overall, however, the pilot program proved that DTC does facilitate faster, more secure border checks.

A survey of the DTC passengers who participated in the pilot yielded positive responses:

  • 91% of participants found it easy to register for the DTC.
  • 96% found it easy to send their DTC in advance.
  • 90% said they would use the DTC for travel in the future.

The Finnish Border Guard will report their insights and findings to the EU Commission, sharing valuable data for application beyond Finland’s borders through future EU legislation and international standards for digital travel.


RAJA (Finnish Border Guard)

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