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Thailand to roll out 15 million new e-passports

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Thailand awarded a contract to a major consortium; it will supply 15 million e-passports during a seven-year project.

This represents one of the largest passport deployments for the group worldwide, the move is designed to align with national plans to create a “technically-advanced” country through the Thailand 4.0 initiative.

Having supported the ambitions of Thai customers over the last three decades in multiple industries, the group is strongly committed to developing local industrial capabilities in close collaboration with its partners.

Terms of the agreement will see the creation of a 64-page biometric travel document, including an e-cover with a
“thin, flexible” data page made of polycarbonate as well as a window containing a second image of the citizen and a “true colour” UV photo.

These security features ensure that the document complies with the highest standards of security recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Furthermore, the consortium will also implement a secure end-to-end electronic passport system designed to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act of Thailand.

The Thailand government chose this group because it has developed some of the world’s most sophisticated e-passports that continuously support governments’ push towards the use of biometrics to ensure quick and secure cross-border movement.

The creation of this e-passport will add Thailand to that list and help the MOFA strengthen homeland protection and improve the travel experience of Thai citizens.

The close collaboration with MOFA and other partners is eagerly anticipated as it will lead to the design and development of a superior e-passport that meets Thailand’s unique requirements, and one that exceeds the highest level of security recommended by ICAO.

Furthermore, the contract will see the current passport production capacity increase significantly, with two active high-security production sites – a remote and a main facility – set to be established as part of the project.

Beyond a newly-designed passport, Thai citizens will benefit from greater efficiency in registering for their passports as the project will upgrade citizen-facing enrolment operations in 22 existing managed sites throughout Thailand, as well as include an expansion plan to establish 15 new sites throughout the country, offering more service points for Thai citizens to obtain their travel documents.

As a committed partner to Thailand for more than 30 years in industry sectors ranging from defence to air traffic management and to ground transportation, the group aligns with this vision by now bringing its technology expertise in the digital identity and biometrics sector, making it a trusted partner to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs as they deliver a highly-secured and modern passport for their citizens.

An electronic passport contains technical specifications that comply with the standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It differs from a non-electronic Passport via to the following characteristics:

  • It contains biometric data such as fingerprints and facial features in a contactless integrated circuit which is embedded in all e-Passports.
  • It is readable by the automatic gates at immigration checkpoints which automatically verify that the embedded information matches that of the bearer.
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