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Ukraine president signs biometric e-passport law


Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed a law which will introduce biometric e-passports to Ukraine, KyivPost reports.

This recently signed law stipulates that biometric passports are to be issued to all individuals from birth and regardless of age, for 10 years. These biometric passports will contain among the usual biographical data found on a passport, a digitized photograph and a digitized signature.

As reported in BiometricUpdate.com, Ukraine’s human rights commissioner previously called upon the president to veto Ukraine’s recently passed biometric identification law in October of this year.

According to separate article in KyivPost, last week, nearly 300 representatives of church organizations protested outside the presidential administration building in central Kyiv, in opposition of the law regarding the adoption of biometric passports.

A revision to the law from the president suggests that those who refuse to enter their personal information in an electronic chip due to religious beliefs have the right to refuse doing so. To exercise this right, those opposed to the new system will need to submit an application for approval and exemption.

Many countries around the world have recently opted to introduce biometric e-passports. According to a SecureIDNews report from earlier this year, 93 out of 193 U.N member states were issuing e-passports at the time, with 21 additional countries ready to deploy the technology in the next 2 years.

As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, more than three years after The European Commission set the deadline for issuing biometric passports with fingerprints to all European Union member states, Belgium still fails to comply with this requirement. As a result, the European Commission has referred the country to the Court of Justice of the EU, requesting that Belgium expedite the delivery of these required biometric passports.

A recent Biometric Research Note looks at government implementation of eID programs, including electronic passports.

Though the cost of a biometric e-passport can be prohibitive to some applicants, pushing governments to consider fee reductions, Yanukovych has suggested that the payment for the issuance of biometric e-passports in Ukraine will be covered from the general fund of the budget.

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