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21 September 2009 - Media release

INTERPOL to set global standard in travel document security with new e-passport initiative

MONTREAL, Canada – INTERPOL’s Secretary General Ronald K. Noble today announced that the EDAPS Consortium had been chosen to design and produce the world’s largest police organization’s first-ever e-passport.

Incorporating state-of-the-art technology, the e-passport for the Heads of INTERPOL’s 187 National Central Bureaus (NCBs), Executive Committee members and staff from its General Secretariat headquarters will set new standards in document security.

Delivering the keynote address to the 5th Symposium and Exhibition on International Civil Aviation Organization MRTDs, Biometrics and Security standards, the INTERPOL chief said that the  provision of a secure, globally recognised INTERPOL e-passport to the Heads of NCBs is aimed at ensuring that they can travel freely internationally in order to assist in the apprehension or transfer of fugitives.

“Criminals can cross borders swiftly and effortlessly, while our Heads of National Central Bureaus and even our headquarters staff are slowed down or stopped because of bureaucratic international red tape, which constitutes a major impediment to keeping the world safe,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“The introduction of the INTERPOL e-passport marks a significant step forward not only in enabling law enforcement officers to carry out their duties, but also in setting global standards for secure travel documents, especially as the use of fraudulent passports by terrorists poses the number one threat to the safety and security of citizens everywhere,” added Mr Noble.

The INTERPOL e-passport, which will incorporate security features such as laser engraving, an electronic chip, and holographic, micrographic and optical security elements, will be developed by the EDAPS Consortium, which leads a grouping of 20 suppliers from 12 countries – an international effort welcomed by the Secretary General.

“The quality of the features offered in EDAPS’ e-passport – combined with the fact that INTERPOL’s sensitive biometric data would always remain under INTERPOL’s custody – and the ability of the company’s sophisticated plant, workforce and system of production to quickly respond to the Organization’s needs proved decisive in its selection by INTERPOL to lead the e-passport initiative,” concluded Secretary General Noble.

The international suppliers supporting the INTERPOL e-passport development by EDAPS are:

Petrel Industries – France; Bayer – Germany; Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co. KG – Germany; Softpro GmbH – Germany; Wacom Europe GmbH – Germany; Centro grafico DG – Italy; Adaptive Recognition Inc. – Hungary; Canon Inc. – Japan; Neurotechnology – Lithuania; NXP Semiconductors - The Netherlands; IAI industrial systems BV - The Netherlands; SONDA – Russia; Speed Identity – Sweden; SICPA Holding SA – Switzerland; KBA-GIORI S.A. – Switzerland; Luminesence - United Kingdom; Printing plant "UKRAINE" – Ukraine; Malin Banknote Paper Factory – Ukraine; Artec Group Inc - USA, DATACARD GROUP – USA.

The next step of the initiative will see EDAPS design the final version of the INTERPOL e-passport, which will be reviewed by the forthcoming INTERPOL General Assembly in Singapore (11-15 October).