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New Thai passports get ‘datapage’

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Thailand is introducing a 64-page biometric travel document which includes an “e-cover” with a thin, flexible “datapage” made of polycarbonate, as well as a window containing a second image of the citizen and a true-colour UV photo. 

In 2018, the Thai Government launched ‘Thailand 4.0’ with a vision to develop Thailand into an innovative, dynamic and value-driven economy. With this in mind, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Thailand said it would provide 15-million technically-advanced, high-security e-passports to Thai citizens. The passports will be produced by the DGM Consortium, which includes Thales company Gemalto, Data Products Toppan Forms, and MultiCert. 

The security features of the document comply with the highest standards of security recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The DGM Consortium will also implement a secure end-to-end electronic passport system that will also comply with the Personal Data Protection Act of Thailand.

The current passport production capacity will increase significantly, as two active high-security production sites – a Remote and a Main facility – will be established as part of the project to ensure business continuity and security for passport issuance. By providing continuous training and transfer-of-technology to develop local expertise in passport issuance, Thales is leveraging its global technological expertise to upskill the Thai workforce as it moves towards a digital future.

Beyond a newly-designed passport, Thai citizens will benefit from greater efficiency in registering for their passports as the project will upgrade citizen-facing enrolment operations in 22 existing managed sites throughout Thailand, as well as include an expansion plan to establish 15 new sites throughout the country, offering more service points for Thai citizens to obtain their travel documents.

As a committed partner to Thailand for more than 30 years in industry sectors ranging from defence to air traffic management and to ground transportation, Thales aligns with this vision by now bringing its technology expertise in the digital identity and biometrics sector, making us a trusted partner to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs as they deliver a highly-secured and modern passport for their citizens.

Massimo Marinzi, country director for Thales Thailand, says: “Having supported the ambitions of our Thai customers over the last three decades in multiple industries, Thales is strongly committed to developing local industrial capabilities in close collaboration with our partners. The Group has developed some of the world’s most sophisticated e-passports that continuously support governments’ push towards the use of biometrics to ensure quick and secure cross-border movement. 

“Today, we are proud to add Thailand to that list and to help the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) strengthen homeland protection and improve the travel experience of Thai citizens. We look forward to close collaboration with MOFA and our partners to design and develop a superior e-passport that meets their unique requirements, and that exceeds the highest level of security recommended by ICAO.” 

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