The day was commemorated when the country’s first new ePassport was presented to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the ceremony for the launch of the new ePassport.
The opening of the centre is an important step in Bangladesh’s transition to the latest generation of electronic travel documents and marks a major milestone in the ongoing ‘Introduction of the Bangladesh ePassport and Automated Border Control Management’ project.
The new ePassports are part of a comprehensive programme that includes the entire value-chain of supply, installation, and implementation of the next generation ePassports and state-of-the-art border control infrastructure.
The ePassport has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometric information used to authenticate the identity of the bearer. According to DIP, the new travel document incorporates 38 types of security features, including colour picture of the bearer on polycarbonate datapage.
The technology for the new travel documents is delivered by Veridos. In 2018, Veridos and the DIP signed a long-term contract under which Veridos will provide electronic passports and 50 eGates for all international airports and land border crossings in Bangladesh. The order has a term of twelve years and a value of approximately €340 million. The partnership plans to create a large number of high qualified jobs in Bangladesh and will deliver much needed knowledge transfer to improve the local economy.
Initially, ePassports will be issued from Dhaka. The regional offices will continue to issue traditional passports until they can start issuing ePassports. The process to install eGates had already begun at every airport and land port across the country to facilitate the use of ePassports.
With more than 160 million inhabitants, Bangladesh is the world’s eighth most populous country and will provide the highest output of passports with colour photos worldwide. According to the DIP, 10.7 million passports have been issued since April 2010.