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Friday, May 20, 2022

ITM launches campaign to clarify EU border regulations as buyer members plan return to business travel

The Institute of Travel Management (ITM) has launched a campaign to provide travel managers with a clear understanding of regulatory requirements for business travellers entering and travelling within the EU. The move has been prompted by concerns of ITM’s buyer members around the challenges of conveying accurate information to travellers and bookers in preparation for resuming business travel.

In order to drive the campaign, a new ITM EU Travel Taskforce has been established which consists of ITM buyer members (including Alison Rogan, ITM Chair & Global Head of Travel & Expense at Barclays; and Stephen Swift, Global Travel Manager, Ford Motor Company); representatives from immigration and visa specialist Newland Chase; legal experts at Travlaw; and tax and social security consultants from Deloitte. The Taskforce has already met once and will continue with regular sessions over the next two months. The campaign also includes a series of webinars and panel discussions for ITM members delivered by experts within the Taskforce who will share their knowledge and insights.

High level considerations to be addressed include the impact on travellers of A1 certification (proof under EU law that the traveller pays social security in their home country); the EU Posted Worker Directive (PWD); and visa and work permit changes since Brexit for UK business travellers entering the EU, as well as EU nationals entering the UK. The ultimate objective is to help buyers identify steps required to evaluate which travellers will be affected; determine which internal and external stakeholders should be included in the process; and to provide practical guidance for communicating with travellers.

“Significant challenges are now coming to light for our buyer members and their travellers regarding the correct paperwork and requirements for travel to, from and within the EU as corporates prepare for resuming business travel,” said Scott Davies, CEO, ITM. “Whilst travel was supressed because of the pandemic, these EU regulations weren’t front of mind, but now that vaccination programmes are well-established and business travel looks set to return, it’s become a priority for buyers. The key issue for travel managers is making sure they understand fully the requirements for business travellers with entering EU countries, to enable them to give those travellers crystal clear information about what to expect at the border, make sure they have the right paperwork and ensure travellers don’t face disruption when entering the EU.

“This is a complex topic given so much has changed in legislation and enforcement of immigration, visa and work permit requirements since 2019. It’s not only due to Brexit but also a sharper focus on enforcement of paperwork required for short term EU business trips as well as changes to longer term assignments.” Davies explained. “Plus there are known challenges around who owns the transient travel piece given global mobility teams, not travel managers, are often concerned with supporting travellers on longer term assignments. In addition, smaller corporates, or those buyers who don’t manage travel full time, may not have the resources to find the answers and advise their travellers accordingly.

“ITM’s latest campaign therefore aims to take a central role in informing, supporting and guiding our buyer members as they navigate these issues in preparation for increased business travel volumes.”

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