• Advance Passenger Information (API)

  • coach-api-passports

    Exit passport checks process for coach operators.


    In 2013 the UK Government announced its intention to introduce Exit Checks on all persons leaving the UK, whether by land, sea or air.
  • The Immigration Act 2014 contains, amongst other articles, a description of the requirement for Exit Checks and outlines that the government will require "Carriers" to be responsible for the process of the Exit Check at the point of departure. The Government defines an "exit check" as "a check that satisfies the Government to a reasonable degree that an individual has left the United Kingdom".

    In reality, they are asking for a scan of the MRZ on each passport backed up by verification (face to passport photo) of a certain percentage of passengers. Eurotunnel Le Shuttle will launch the process on 04 April 2015 in order to meet the government requirement for the formal commencement of checks from 8th April.

    Having passed through the Check-in Plaza at Eurotunnel Le Shuttle's Folkestone Terminal, coaches must proceed to the parking area for high vehicles adjacent to the terminal building. The direct route to shuttles will be closed to coach traffic. 

    On arrival at the entrance to the high vehicle parking area, coaches will be guided to the entrance to a new passport control area located inside the terminal building. 

    A Eurotunnel Le Shuttle staff member will ask the coach driver which category of customer is being carried in the vehicle. These categories have been defined by the Home Office and are shown below.

    • Organised school groups, where the students are all aged 16 years and under and travelling under the direction and care of one or more readily identifiable teachers or other responsible adults (this information will be held by the responsible adult in charge of the party).
      Exit Checks will not routinely be conducted.
    • Scheduled coaches carrying only EEA nationals.
      Exit Checks will be conducted.
    • Closed tours and groups carrying only EEA nationals.
      The Eurotunnel Le Shuttle staff member will advise whether an Exit Check will be conducted.
    • Closed tours and groups carrying non-EEA nationals (who are subject to immigration control).
      The Eurotunnel Le Shuttle staff member will advise whether an Exit Check will be conducted.

    Where an Exit Check is required, customers must disembark the coach and enter the passport check area in the terminal building. NOTE: the coach driver must inform passengers either to return to the coach immediately, or in xx minutes, as required, and should check that all passengers have disembarked from the coach. He/she should assist customers with mobility impairment to leave the coach.

    The coach driver should then move the vehicle to the parking area for coaches and then proceed to the passport check area to have his/her own passport scanned.

    Coach passengers will return to the coach following the route prepared for them. The coach park layout is being modified to ensure it is safe for customers.

  • Important points to consider

    • The Home Office has suggested that all coach operators utilise a system of colour coded cards (see below) to identify which category of passengers the coach is carrying. Eurotunnel Le Shuttle requests that coach operators implement this system as a priority in order to assist staff identify coaches on arrival.
    • Eurotunnel Le Shuttle will conduct random checks to verify that information regarding the category of passengers carried is correct.
    • It is important that coach drivers are reminded that it is their responsibility to check that all passengers have returned to their coach before departing the coach parking area. Should any customers be left behind, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle staff will identify the coach concerned and will escort it back to the terminal building to collect them.
    • We respectfully remind coach operators that should a coach also be selected for a security search, then the time taken to match passengers to baggage will be extended if any of the passengers are missing.