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e-passport a ‘milestone’ in Bangladesh, Germany ties

Published : 20 Jan 2020 09:05 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 07:39 PM

The introduction of the e-Passport and Automated Border Control Management is a ‘milestone’ for the cooperation between Bangladesh and Germany. This is equally important with regard to business as well as security, the German embassy in Dhaka said. Renowned German company Veridos GmbH has been working on e-passport and e-gate in Bangladesh.

The online portal for e-Passport is launched Monday and is open for all citizens to submit applications online, according to the Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to launch formally on January 22 at a programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).

“We are constantly updating and improving it to provide excellent user experience. If you encounter any issues or if you want to share your experience we would be happy to hear from you,” DIP said in an announcement. The German embassy said, for Bangladesh, the project signalises an important step in the transition to the latest generation of electronic travel documents, meeting the highest security requirements in the world.

The project represents a successful partnership between the Department of Immigration and Passports, Security Services Division, Ministry of Home Affairs and the German company Veridos GmbH. It places Bangladesh into the ‘top of the elite group of countries with the most remarkable and temper-proof ePassport systems’.

It offers Bangladesh’s citizens convenience and security for international travels. At the same time it contributes to national security. “This achievement can be seen as part of the Prime Minister’s Vision for modernising the country,” the embassy said. “Germany has proven that it stands ready to support Bangladesh in this vision.”

The Embassy welcomes this new development and congratulates Bangladesh on its achievement.“German enterprises are willing to further engage in additional business and cooperation activities in Bangladesh providing the most advanced technology and highest quality.”

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), there are more than 100 states and non-state entities (i.e. United Nations) currently issuing e-Passports, and over 490 million e-Passports are in circulation. E-passports add a layer of security to traditional non-electronic passports by embedding an electronic chip in the passport booklet that stores the biographical information visible on page 2 of the passport, as well as a digital security feature.

The digital security feature is a country specific “digital signature.” These digital signatures are unique to each country and can be verified using their respective certificates.According to the project details, the project “Introduction of Bangladesh e-Passport and Automatic Border Control Management” is being implemented at a cost of Taka 4,569 crore.

The DIP is implementing the project from July 2018 to June 2028 with full government funding.A total of 30 million passports will be delivered in 10 years. With issuing the e-passport the whole process of the immigration formalities will be completed through online. It said two million e-passports will be made in Germany. As a result, the passports of those who apply first will be made from Germany. Validity of e-passport will be for five and 10 years.

The DIP and Germany Veridos signed an agreement on July 19 in 2018 for electronic passports alongside machine-readable ones. According to the DIP, it will issue three categories of e-passports — normal, emergency and very emergency passports — with a validity of five to 10 years.

An adult will get passports with 10-year validity, while children below 18 years and senior citizens who are above 65 will get five-year validity passports.The DIP will issue 48-page and 64-page passports with a validity of five and 10 years as per the requirement of the applicants