Bundesdruckerei is to support production of about one million electronic passports (ePassports) for the UAE. Bundesdruckerei's CEO Ulrich Hamann has a good explanation for his company's success: "The United Arab Emirates' decision to entrust Bundesdruckerei with production of its electronic passports and provision of the corresponding system components shows how much trust customers throughout the world place in our competency and technological potentia.”
The passports are biometrical IDs complying with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and therefore meet the highest security demands. In practice, this means that the ePassports, comparable to their German counterparts, will have a chip in the cover on which a facial image and two fingerprints of the owner are stored, thus ensuring better protection of the owner's identity.
In this recent deal, Bundesdruckerei will be operating as sub-contactor to the local systems integrator "Emirates Computers" and will be responsible for several steps of the production process, ranging from data capture to issuing and verification of the documents. The paper passports - containing a data sheet coated with high-security holographic laminate - are produced in Berlin. Back home in the United Arab Emirates, Bundesdruckerei has been entrusted with equipping the Ministry of Interior with modern personalization technology for the documents and providing data capture and output systems to the competent authorities. Apart from a software package these systems will also include hardware components such as passport printers and reading devices.
In the call for tenders, Bundesdruckerei was able to assert itself against international competitors, with its extensive product portfolio and wide experience giving it the cutting edge. As general contractor to the German ePassport project, the company has already made an effective contribution to the introduction of a second generation of biometric IDs. Moreover, Bundesdruckerei has set up a full personalization system for the issuing of modern ePassports in Riga (Latvia) and is currently supplying Bosnia with new electronic passports.