One page says ETIAS is optional until 2023, but another page says we must have it to enter Finland and another one says mandatory to go to any Schengen country. Sorry I've forgotten where the other two are, but they were either government or well-done tourism pages (not bloggers of unknown reliability but still could be wrong).

What's the scoop?

  • Your (official) source says the same thing that I quoted. But again, other sources say it’s mandatory without giving a future date. Your site does seem official, thus an appropriate answer – WGroleau Jun 7 at 7:36

This page from the EC is the current official reference on the topic. It states:

Important notice

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is currently not in operation and no applications for travel authorisations are collected at this point.

Applicants will be able to apply via an official website and/or app for mobile devices prior to the start of operation of ETIAS and will have to pay a fee of €7.

The date from which travellers will be able to apply will be published on this web site.

ETIAS is expected to start operations in 2022. Once it starts, there will be a first 6 months grace period which is pretty loose, and another which will be a lot more restrictive.

  • 1
    I’m so accustomed to seeing websites that should have been updated and weren’t. A bit surprising to see more than one that makes a statement two years before it’s true. – WGroleau Jun 7 at 14:34

ETIAS is designed to be mandatory for third-country travellers. Your first link doesn't really contradict this. It simply says a grace period will be available before the system is mandatory.

but another page says we must have it to enter Finland and another one says mandatory to go to any Schengen country.

If you are using present tense to mean at the moment here, that's impossible for these statements to be true. ETIAS is not in operation right now for anyone for any country.

According to official EU website, ETIAS is expected to become operational by the end of 2022. Once it is operational, a grace period of six months is provided during which the relevant member states inform travellers and improve the awareness of the new system. During this period, the use of ETIAS will be optional.

An additional six-month grace period follows. During this period, ETIAS will be mandatory but exceptions will be made for the first time a traveller crosses the external border after the first grace period has ended. This limited grace period can be extended by the Commission for another six months. (Article 83, Regulation (EU) 2018/1240)

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