(CMC)— Dominica Monday launched its electronic passport (E-Passport) that it says will significantly reduce identity theft and would be an integral component of its border management systems.
National Security Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, told the ceremony that Dominicans have until July 2023 to acquire the new passport.
“Let me assure you that the rolling out of the new E-Passport should not lead to concerns and confusion. There will be a two-year period for the phasing out of the current machine-readable passport and this is being done to ensure that everyone can reasonably apply for the new passport,” he said.
Blackmoore said the authorities are aware that some passport holders have recently renewed their travel document “and it is this consideration as well as ensuring that there is a smooth transition that’s why we are giving phased out period to apply for the new passport”.
Tourism Minister, Denise Charles, who was deputing for Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit at the launch, said Dominica has joined other countries worldwide that have “taken the bold step” in providing the new travel document.
“E-Passports will add a new layer of security to traditional non-electronic passports by embedding an electronic chip in the passport booklet that stores biographical information such as facial features as well as a digital security feature.
“Therefore our electronic passports should make the immigration checkpoint process must faster and would allow immigration officers to quickly authenticate of travels, first providing protection against identity theft and fraud,” she said.
She said that the new initiative will improve linkages with the Caricom Joint Regional Communications Centre as well as International Police (Interpol).