Thales and Zetes will collaborate to bring next-generation e-passports to Belgium. The new seven-year contract is a renewal of the two companies’ existing contract with the country, which covered the previous seven-year period.
The new passport will be built with a secure data page made with polycarbonate technology, and comes with a slew of security features to help prevent forgery. Those features include laser-engraved pictures, and a laser-engraved passport number etched into the hinge and data page. The Belgium passport will be the first in the world to offer the latter as a security measure.
The chip in the data page will use digital security techniques to protect the individual’s personal information. The passport also has embedded data that can only be read with the help of UV light.
Zetes signed the contract with the Belgium Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, acting as the leader of a broader consortium, of which Thales is a member. Thales will be responsible for producing the passport itself, and expects to deliver around 550,000 passports every year for the duration of the contract.
“We are proud to work with Zetes to provide the Belgium Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs one of the most secure passports,” said Pierre Thepaut, the European Sales VP for Thales Digital Identity and Security. “To respect privacy and fight fraud, we have developed a unique passport design and modernized the data pages with rugged polycarbonate technology, making them extremely safe.”
October 2, 2020 – by Eric Weiss