Denmark has reinstated controls and spot-checks on vehicles arriving from neighbouring EU countries.
There were more journalists than anything else at the press call on the border with Germany.
It is part of a deal agreed between the governing coalition and the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party.
But the politicians insist this is not about identity.
Denmark’s minister for Taxation said it is about customs, not passports. “I don’t understand the criticism,” he added, “I am all for European co-operation, but I don’t think smuggling should be allowed.”
But others are not so sure. The mayor of nearby Flensburg thinks it sends out the wrong signal. He said: “It creates confusion about border co-operation, and we want to strengthen it. We are not welcoming it, but nonetheless it is not affecting the traffic.”
The EU has already warned Copenhagen against breaching the terms of the Schengen agreement.
A spokesman promised the Commission would strictly monitor the deployment of this first phase of the Danish agreement, to be sure that it respects European law.
As well as the European Commission, the Danish decision has angered Germany and Sweden, the countries with whom it shares borders.
Copenhagen says it is within its rights to prevent smuggling, human trafficking and what it calls “brutal crime”.