Your Passport Is Your Ambassador Somaliland Needs To Comply ICAO Passport Specifications: Part Two By Abdirashid Mohamed Jama Belel

Based upon the specifications of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and ICAO, which is responsible for standardizing travel documents, the most important requirements for a photograph for e-passport is that the face must be taken from a full frontal position and the height of the face must meet the prescribed specifications. The eyes must be open, level and clearly visible within the indicated area. The face should be centered within the frame
The issuance of ICAO-standard ePassports by some 45 member states of the organization by year end 2007 and the inherent benefits included in this travel document should drive the adoption of this latest-generation Machine Readable Travel Document (MRTD) by an increasing number of governments in the next few years.
By authenticating the chip of an e Passport, border control authorities can confirm that:
1. the e Passport held by the traveler was issued by a bonafide authority;
2. the biographical and biometric information endorsed in the document at issuance has not subsequently been altered; and
3. If active authentication and/or chip authentication is supported by the e Passport chip, the electronic information on the chip is not a copy (i.e. a clone).

The authentication of the electronic component of the e Passport (i.e. the chip) contributes to the confidence that can be placed on the information in the physical document. Once a border control authority has confirmed that the information on the chip is authentic and has not been altered, that authority can confidently rely on the information on the chip to compare or cross-reference against the printed information and facial image found on the biographical data page (both in the Visual Inspection Zone and the Machine Readable Zone). Any discrepancy between the two sources of information is a clear sign of tampering.

E Passport validation is necessary to fully leverage the investments made by States in developing e Passports and contributes to improved border security and safer air travel globally. The benefits of e Passport validation are collective, cumulative and universal; therefore, the broadest possible implementation of e Passport validation is desirable.

It should be noted that obtaining the information required to conduct e Passport validation of foreign e Passports can be achieved without joining the ICAO PKD (i.e. by using the public download service or strictly through bilateral exchange). However, the ICAO PKD provides a timely, reliable and cost-efficient means of both providing and acquiring the necessary information


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