October 12, 2012 -
Ukraine’s parliament recently passed a law that provides for the introduction of biometric identification cards and biometric passports for international travel.
National ID cards will be valid for 10 years and issued to everybody at birth, rather than at age 16. A unified state demographic register will be set up to store each citizen’s basic personal information, according to the law.
Further, the country will issue new biometric passports to replace old Soviet-style passports. The passports for international travel will contain electronic chips with personal information including name, signature, photograph and a person’s fingerprints.
The new document standard is designed to help eliminate ID fraud and thus increase border security. The registry may become accessible to all relevant European Union institutions, improving the time and cost efficiency of their work, including shortened border control procedures.
“Ukraine is fulfilling its European commitments with this law,” said Vasyl Hrytsak, Party of Regions legislator in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament , and author of the law. “It’s finally becoming a civilized nation on the European and international stage.”
As previously stated in BiometricUpdate.com when the bill was first introduced, the law was developed to assist Ukraine harmonize its travel and visa policies with a travel document liberalization policy it adopted in 2010. The liberalization policy stipulates that the government of Ukraine has to carry out a set of reforms regarding document security, illegal migration, internal security, external relations, and fundamental rights. The move, as Hrytsak noted, will also assist the European Union control illegal immigration.