Electronic Passport Production Kicks Off in Macedonia

Electronic Passport Production Kicks Off in Macedonia

Giesecke & Devrient starts data acquisition for the first series of passports

Munich, April 2, 2007–This month, Macedonia will become one of the first non-EU countries to equip its population with highly secure travel documents. A total of 45 data capturing and entry stations in 30 registration offices located throughout the country will be accepting applications from nationals for electronic passports. Besides these 45 permanent stations for entering citizens’ photographs, digitalized signatures, and biometric data, five mobile data entry stations will be supplied by Giesecke & Devrient (G&D). Like the fixed stations, they will be equipped with a laptop, a camera, a signature pad, and a fingerprint sensor. The start of the data entry process also marks the beginning of a 10-year service and maintenance agreement between the Macedonian Interior Ministry and G&D. The contract also covers ID cards and driver’s licenses, which are expected to be issued in the fall of 2007.

A total of 1.5 million passports should be issued by the end of 2009. The Macedonian e-passport comes equipped with a microprocessor chip and state-of-the-art security features, which makes it fully compliant with the guidelines laid down by ICAO and the EU. Since the Republic of Macedonia selected a combined personalization system, it will be able to produce not only electronic passports, but also personal identity documents and driver’s licenses on the same equipment. The system comes with two identical personalization lines that can produce a total of 2,000 passports, 2,400 ID cards, and 600 driver’s licenses a day. “It makes both financial and functional sense to go with a combined personalization system; the decision will pay for itself,” said Hans Wolfgang Kunz, Member of the Management Board at Giesecke & Devrient. Each e-passport features a 72-KB microchip to hold the data used for personalization. During the process, the holder’s personal information, passport photo, and fingerprint are written on the chip as distinctive biometric features.

In November 2005, G&D was awarded a contract by the Macedonian government to provide a combined system for personalizing e-passports, personal ID cards and driver’s licenses as well as all the associated documents. The contract includes the delivery of 1.5 million electronic passport documents with integrated microchips, 1.8 million personal identity cards and 500,000 driver’s licenses. In addition, G&D will be providing the central personalization machines, local data entry systems, central data storage and processing equipment, system integration and a maintenance agreement. This project is worth around EUR 23.5 million in sales.

About Giesecke & Devrient

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), based in Munich, Germany, is an international technology group operating subsidiaries and joint ventures throughout the world. Founded in Leipzig in 1852, G&D began as a printer of securities, and later specialized in banknote production. The company has been developing solutions and complete systems for automatic currency processing since 1970. Today, G&D is also a technology leader in smart cards, and a solutions provider in a wide range of fields, including telecommunications, electronic payments, identification, health, transportation, and IT security (PKI). In fiscal 2005, the Group employed some 7,500 people and generated a revenue of €1.24 billion. For more information, visit our Web site at http://www.gi-de.com.

Contact:

Giesecke & Devrient GmbH
Andrea Bockholt, Press Manager
Prinzregentenstraße 159, D-81607 Munich
Phone: +49 89 41 19-2422, Fax: -2020
E-mail: andrea.bockholt@gi-de.com

Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrats: Dr. Peter Mihatsch
Geschäftsführer: Dr. Karsten Ottenberg (Vorsitzender, CEO), Michael Kuemmerle,
Hans Wolfgang Kunz, Dr. Walter Schlebusch, Dr. Peter Zattler (CFO)
Gesellschaftssitz: München, Handelsregister Amtsgericht München HRB 4619.

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