Via the CBP, The US and Germany officially announced their reciprocal arrangements for their citizens to use each other's automated immigration services, Global Entry and EasyPASS respectively.
It is not the first time Germans have been able to use Global Entry, as they were able to sign up for a trial period of nearly a year, but the announcement from this week resumes full service and co-operation between the two countries.
The Business Traveller preemptively speculates the arrival of US Pre-Clearance at German Airports, though that is no-where to be seen in the aforementioned CBP Press release. Don't believe it until we see it! Though if it were to happen, we can safely assume it will be at one or more of Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin Brandenburg (if it ever gets completed)
The instructions for US Citizens to enroll in EasyPASS:
To register for EasyPASS, U.S. citizens must visit an enrollment center operated by the German Federal Police in Germany. Enrollment centers for EasyPASS can be found in Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport and in Terminal 2 at Munich Airport. More enrollment centres will soon be available. To qualify, U.S. citizens must have an electronic passport (epassport), and be at least 18 years of age.
At the enrollment center, the German Federal Police will inform you about the EasyPASS enrollment procedure. You will be asked to sign a form to confirm your voluntary participation in EasyPASS, and consent to the storage of your personal data. You will then be asked to fill out a questionnaire. The Federal Police will verify the validity and authenticity of your travel document, and your application will be vetted against various government databases. If you successfully pass the checks, you will be instantly enrolled in EasyPASS for the validity of your passport.
And for Germans to enroll in Global Entry:
To preregister for Global Entry, German applicants must visit an EasyPASS enrollment center in Germany. EasyPASS Enrollment Centers can be found in Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport and in Terminal 2 at Munich Airport. More enrollment centres will soon be available.
After a German citizen preregisters for Global Entry with the German Federal Police, the German Federal Police will notify CBP that the applicant is eligible to apply for Global Entry. The applicant can then apply for Global Entry through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). Applications are submitted online, and applicants must pay a $100 non-refundable application fee. Once the application is reviewed, a message is sent to the applicant’s GOES account instructing the applicant to schedule an interview at one of the Global Entry Enrollment Centers. The interview will determine the applicant’s eligibility. At the interview, a U.S. Customs Border Protection officer will ask the applicant questions, take a photo, and collect biometric information, e.g., scan of fingerprints. Applicants must bring their valid passport(s) and one other form of identification, such as a driver's license or ID card to the interview. If an applicant does not preregister with the German Federal Police prior to applying through GOES, the Global Entry application will not be processed.
Upon approval, program membership will be valid for 5 years. However, after the second year of membership, German citizen Global Entry members will have to reregister for Global Entry with the German Federal Police. This will require a subsequent visit to an EasyPASS enrollment center in Germany. CBP will notify the member, via email, when they must reregister. If a member fails to reregister for Global Entry with the German Federal Police within the allotted time, the membership will be terminated.
Good news to kick off the new year indeed. Frohes Neues Jahr!