A new generation of Belgian ePassports
The new electronic passport project was inaugurated on May 5, 2014, at Zetes personalization site, by a visit from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and European Affairs, Didier Reynders. Thales is supplying Belgium with its ePassport.
Thales provides the Belgian Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs with 500,000 ePassports every year, and Zetes is the system integrator.
Under a five-year contract, Thales will supply the Belgian ePassport program with its range of ePassport booklets and its latest ICAO secure embedded software. Zetes is responsible for the personalization and delivery of the ePassports.
The Belgian digital passport contains an electronic microprocessor. It holds the same information printed on the passport's data page: name, date of birth, and other biographic information.
The new Belgian passport: security features at a glance
The Belgian authorities have focused on security and have adopted the principle of reproducing the holder's portrait five times in the document using different techniques. This feature makes the document extremely hard to forge.
Besides, the biometric passport also includes fingerprints.
The document is valid for seven years and cost 65€ for adults.
Since the end of 2013, Belgium is the 39th State participating in the Public Key Directory (PKD) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
How can we better support you in your passport migration?
Every country has a reason to plan for migration.
- You may be looking to introduce electronic passports in your country.
- You may be facing the end of a current contract and therefore anticipating contract renewal, either for the electronic components of the passport or for a technological overhaul of an issuance platform.
- You may be seeking to increase the security of your passport project by transitioning to a new generation of platforms.
- You may be seeking to introduce new security mechanisms.
- You may want to introduce or enforce a multi-sourcing policy to prevent disruption in passport issuance to citizens.
Thales has 120 years of experience in secure printing (passports and national ID cards, among others) and over 30 years of expertise in secure embedded software development.
We have also deployed passport personalization solutions, in some cases operating these on behalf of our customers.
From Korea to Belgium, from the United States to Singapore, Thales currently powers 30 electronic passport programs worldwide.
More information on other Belgian projects
- Belgium's national ID
- Digital ID scheme (ITSME®)
- The Belgium Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs (BUZA) renewed its contract with the consortium including Zetes and Thales for the issuance of highly secure ePassports to Belgian citizens. (30 September 2020)