Uzbekistan starts application of biometric passport system
Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Jan. 6 / Trend D.Azizov /
Uzbek President Islam Karimov on Wednesday signed a decree on additional measures to improve the passport system in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The preamble of the document states that it was accepted "in an attempt to further improve the procedure of registration, issuance and exchange of passport of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as travel documents for stateless persons in the light of contemporary international standards and requirements."
The decree approved the position of passport system and provision of biometric travel document to stateless persons.
The Uzbek Foreign Ministry was tasked to inform foreign governments, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Organization for Standardization on the ongoing events in Uzbekistan to improve the national passport system.
The Uzbek Interior Ministry and Justice Ministry, as well as other concerned ministries and departments, should submit the proposals regarding the amendments and addenda for legislation to the Cabinet of Ministers in two months' time, in accordance with the decree.
According to the decree, the existing position on the passports of Uzbek citizens and the identification of stateless persons are valid till Dec. 31, 2015.
It has also been reported that Uzbekistan plans to introduce the passport system based on biometric data from 2011. The initial introduction of the system is scheduled for 2010. However, later, the term was postponed till Jan. 1, 2011.
Moreover, all arrangements for exchange of passports are required to implement by 2016.
Passports of employees, working in state institutions and citizens, traveling or staying abroad, as well as those receiving a passport for the first time or exchanging due to expiration, will be replaced in 2011. All other citizens must get biometric passports in the second phase from 2012-2015.
Technology company IAI industrial systems B.V. in Veldhoven, a subsidiary of the stock listed company DOCDATA N.V. in Waalwijk, the Netherlands, will supply three BookMaster One systems to Uzbekistan for the personalization of the new Uzbek passport, a source in the government told Trend earlier.
French Oberthur Technologies SA will participate in a project to create a single multi-service network to draw up passport and visa documents based on biometrics worth 75.107 million euro in Uzbekistan. The systems will be installed at the State Center of Personification in Tashkent and are expected to be delivered in 2011.
According to the Interior Ministry, biometric passports are introduced to improve their protection against possible counterfeiting, mechanisms for rapid and accurate identification at border crossings, ensure safety of international civil air navigation and increase efficiency of international air traffic.
The national center for personalization was established to produce and record biometric passports and provide their citizens under the Cabinet of Ministers. Uzbekistan plans to create 215 points to collect biometric data and form applications for the production of passports. About 40 points will be opened in embassies and consulates of the country abroad.
The population of Uzbekistan, as of April 1, 2010, exceeded 28 million, out of which about 60 percent are above16 years of age.