FIELDS database

A global resource to help detect counterfeit and forged travel and identity documents

Criminals and terrorists are known to use illicit travel and identity documents to cross borders undetected. Document fraud also facilitates the exploitation of vulnerable people through human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

Border officials need real-time tools to help spot fraudulent travel and identity documents, prevent the movement of criminals and terrorists, and identify people at risk.

Officers conducting first-line checks have only seconds to assess whether a document is genuine or potentially fake. Therefore, it is vital for them to know the signs to looks for.

The Frontex INTERPOL Electronic Library Document System (FIELDS) gives police officers and border guards visual information on the key markers that can indicate a counterfeit or forged document.

How it works

FIELDS is a joint initiative between INTERPOL and Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

It combines and upgrades INTERPOL’s existing Dial-Doc platform to make the Frontex Quick Check Cards (QCC) available to frontline border control officers via INTERPOL’s I-24/7 secure global police communications system.

The QCC is a visual decision aid. It shows a model of the document being inspected and highlights the key security features to check. The images are compiled by document experts, based on risk analysis, known alerts, and the vulnerability assessment of the document.

Benefits for security

The effective control of travel and identity documents is a cornerstone of border security and successful migration management.

Real-time access to FIELDS – and the QCCs that it contains – during frontline border checks will make it quicker and easier to check the authenticity of travel and identity documents, with more accurate results.

By covering counterfeits and forgeries, the FIELDS system complements INTERPOL’s existing SLTD database which contains records on stolen, lost, revoked, invalid, and stolen blank documents.

Future developments

The FIELDS system will go live in 2022. The FIELDS Operational Central Unit will work actively with experts and member countries to:

  • Ensure efficient and sustainable use of the system (operational and technical);
  • Expand the system into the national border security infrastructure of all INTERPOL member countries;
  • Improve the business and technological processes.

In the future, the FIELDS unit will aim to integrate new features such as Artificial Intelligence and compatibility with automated border control booths.

To achieve these goals and populate the database with as much relevant information as possible, INTERPOL and Frontex will continue to rely on their member countries to share document specimens and related information.

The FIELDS unit will be based at INTERPOL and supported by Frontex expertise and funding, highlighting the Organizations’ joint commitment to bolstering the range of border management tools available to frontline officers and strengthening global security.

See also