Business travellers and frequent visitors from a host of countries will be able to benefit from faster entry to the UK as the Government’s Registered Traveller Service is expanded.
From 21st November, frequent travellers to the UK from 16 new countries will be eligible to apply for membership of the scheme, which provides the potential for improved trade and tourism links.
Membership will now be open to passengers from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay. There are also plans for the service to be offered to certain categories of traveller from India.
Visitors from just six of the countries, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Malaysia and Mexico, spent close to £1 billion in the UK last year, an increase of almost 30% on the previous year.
International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, comments: “For UK companies looking to build a global brand, as well as international businesses keen to invest in the UK’s thriving marketplace, making contacts and forging new relationships is essential. So it’s vital we make business travel into the UK as smooth as possible.”
Registered Traveller, which is already open to passport holders from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the US, currently has more than 67,000 members. The service allows approved members, who have undergone advanced security checks, access to the ePassport gates (if a holder of an ePassport) or the UK/EU passport lane.