UK Grants Qualified Taiwanese Express Customs Clearance

UK Grants Qualified Taiwanese Express Customs Clearance
Photo Credit: Cheng-en Cheng @ Flickr CC BY SA 2.0

What you need to know

After passing the UK's verification and becoming a RTS program member, one can enter the UK through a UK/EU entry lane or an ePassport-gate in airports with a chip (biometric) passport. Users no longer need to fill in landing cards, consult with immigration officials or have their fingerprints taken at the gate.

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Translated by Yuan-ling Liang

On January 26, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) stated that the UK is including Taiwan in the Registered Traveller Service (RTS), allowing qualified Taiwanese citizens to apply for express customs clearance.

The MFA says citizens older than 18 years old with a six-month valid UK visa, or those who have visited the UK more than four times for business, interviews, academic activities, sports, transit or entertainment in the last 24 months are all qualified for the RTS program. Those intended to apply for the program can register and pay the fee on the Internet. One becomes a member of the program after the British government verifies the application.

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According to the MFA, the application will be available starting in the afternoon of January 25 (GMT +00:00) for people in Taiwan. All citizens that meet the criteria can apply.

A person that passes the verification and becomes a program member can enter the UK through a UK/EU entry lane or an ePassport-gate in airports with a chip (biometric) passport. Once registered, users no longer need to fill in landing cards, consult with immigration officials or have their fingerprints taken at the gate, which is much more convenient.

However, verified passengers still need to follow the general entry procedure upon their first entry to the UK and be double-checked by the immigration officer. They can enjoy the express customs clearance next time they visit the UK after going through this process.

Airports and entry points in the RTS program include the major UK airports, Eurostar, and entry points in Paris, Brussels and Lille.

The RTS program was first implemented on April 8, 2015, and applied to passengers from Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand. Aside from Taiwan, countries recently included into the program are Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore.

Apply for the RTS program here.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
Liberty Times
ETToday
Storm Media
CNA
Taiwan Today
GOV.UK


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