The new requirement will come into force on March 28th and will expire on September 1st.
Sweden’s infrastructure minister, Tomas Eneroth, said that the requirement would “allow ferry companies to pass information to the Migration Agency and other other [agencies] on who is coming to Sweden so that we can ensure a good reception”.
“There are indications that this would mean one could, among other things, stop trafficking,” he said.
Ferry companies already need to collect passenger information for journeys over 20 nautical miles (37 kilometres), but ID checks are only required if there are suspicions that a passenger might have given false information. Now, this requirement is being changed, so that all passengers’ ID must be checked.
The reason ferry companies have to collect passenger information is to make sure the crew and rescue services know how many passengers are on board if there is an accident.
Sweden’s government argues that this is even more necessary when so many people are taking ferries to flee war in Ukraine.
The country last week announced plans to bring back ID checks on buses, trains and ferries from April 8th, sending a new law for consultation that would be valid for three years.
The plans have triggered widespread criticism from politicians in Skåne, who complain that new checks will make it harder for commuters between Sweden and the Danish capital, Copenhagen, and will deter cross-border integration.