Belarus mulls introduction of biometric ID documents by April 30

Belarus mulls introduction of biometric ID documents by April 30

There are plans by the government of Belarus to begin the production of biometric ID documents in order to fight off the phenomenon of fake identity documents in the country.

Authorities are also looking to commence the process from a tentative deadline of April 30, 2021, but hope that the necessary legal framework can be put in place before the signing of the implementing decree.

BelTA reports that a planning meeting to this effect took place on January 25 as President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with top government officials and stakeholders to evaluate the preparatory mechanism put in place so far for the biometric project.

It emerged from the meeting, according to BelTA, that the necessary information systems have been put in place, biometric equipment has been acquired and sensitization campaigns have already been carried out in order to inform citizens of the novelty. The process is being coordinated by the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Information.

Combating ID fraud

The project will see the production of biometric passports and IDs, which the president believes will go a long way in combating ID fraud. With the ID card, which will reportedly cost Br27 (roughly US$11.35) citizens will be allowed access to an array of public services using a personal online account, according to the president.

Information contained in the ID card will be similar to that on the passport and will include the holder’s name, last name and patronymic, date of birth, citizenship, gender, number, type and validity date of the document, the card their signature. Other information such as place of registration and details about children and married will be linked to the card virtually, which data can be read on a special terminal, BelTA explains. Holders of the ID card will also have a ten-year valid electronic digital signature.

The Belarusian leader said he had been assured that efforts have been made to handle all the concerns and fears raised even by public organizations with regard to the introduction of the new ID and passport system.

“It is expected that this innovation will affect absolutely everybody, but Belarusians should get additional opportunities, not problems…,” President Lukashenko was quoted as telling attendees of the meeting.

Belarus’ plans to rollout biometric passports and IDs have been postponed in the past for several reasons.

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