New ID’s for Macedonia

New ID’s for Macedonia

Giesecke & Devrient awarded contract to provide e-passports, personal ID cards, driver’s licenses, and associated systems

Munich, November 30, 2005–The government of the Republic of Macedonia has awarded international technology group Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) a contract to provide the country with electronic passports, personal identity cards, and driver’s licenses, as well as a corresponding, combined system for personalization of the documents. Work on the project is scheduled to begin this year, with the project itself expected to take a total of 11 years to complete. The first electronic passports and ID cards are due to be issued to the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia as early as 2006. The order covers delivery of 1.5 million passport documents with integrated microchips, 1.8 million personal identity cards, and 500,000 driver’s licenses. In addition to the documents, G&D will be supplying equipment for centralized personalization and decentralized data acquisition as well as centralized data storage and preparation. The international smart card manufacturer will also handle system integration and upkeep through a maintenance agreement. The overall deal is worth roughly

The Republic of Macedonia is one of the first Eastern European countries to introduce a passport containing a chip (e-passport). The passports, each with an integrated contactless chip, meet both the specifications of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the guidelines of the European Union. The ICAO, a United Nations’ special agency, is tasked with, among other things, the standardization and security of air traffic and the formulating of rules and recommendations for machine-readable travel documents such as chip passports.

“Giesecke & Devrient got a head start preparing for the new regulations being placed on international travel. To execute this project, we will be combining our expertise when it comes to integrating biometric features into microchips with our know-how in the area of highly secure personalization of identification documents. The personalization process involves writing the individual’s personal data inside the passport both in printed and electronic form,” explains Hans Wolfgang Kunz, member of G&D’s Management Board. The chip carries not only the personal information such as name, birth date, and place of birth already printed inside the passport, but also stores a fingerprint used as a distinct biometric trait for identifying the bearer. To store the data, the e-passport comes equipped with a 64-kilobyte microchip. The chip’s operating system from G&D offers maximum speed and security.

“The government of the Republic of Macedonia realized that ordering the various identification documents from a single vendor would have benefits for the nation. One advantage is that it enables establishment of a uniform system, each component of which will have been designed to meet all their requirements. In the end, that keeps the client’s costs down and simplifies integration. By carrying out this ID project, G&D will be providing one of the most modern security solutions from a single source,” says Kunz.

About Giesecke & Devrient:

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is a technology leader in the field of smart cards, providing smart card based solutions for telecommunications, electronic payment, health care, ID, transportation, and IT security (PKI). G&D is also a leading producer of banknotes and security documents and is dominant in the field of currency automation. Based in Munich, Germany, the G&D group has subsidiaries and joint ventures around the world. In fiscal 2004, the group employed some 7,300 people and generated revenue of€1.16 billion. For more information, visit our Web site at