Last Week for States to Ensure Expiration of Non-Machine Readable Passports

MONTRÉAL, 17 NOVEMBER 2015 – Only one week remains for Member States of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to ensure that all of their non-machine-readable passports (MRPs) expire, the Secretary General of the UN specialized agency for civil aviation confirmed today.
“Implementation of ICAO Standard 3.10.1 represents a ‘win-win’ milestone in traveller identification management,” confirmed Dr. Fang Liu. “Machine-readable passports permit a faster and more convenient border control experience for passengers while delivering enhanced and cost-effective security solutions for States, and ICAO is continuing to encourage all States to comply with these new measures as quickly as possible.”
In March 2005, the ICAO Council adopted two new Annex 9 Standards concerning the universal issuance of Machine Readable Passports (MRPs). Standard 3.10 obliged all ICAO Member States to begin issuing only new MRPs as of 1 April 2010, while Standard 3.10.1 requires that all non-MRPs expire by 24 November 2015.
The 24 November 2015 deadline applies to all types of passports, including Ordinary, Diplomatic, and Service documents, however, it does not apply to temporary travel documents designed for emergency situations and which normally feature a rather brief and temporary validity period, or to travel documents issued to refugees and stateless persons.
Several States have advised ICAO that they will have some non-MRPs in circulation for a period of time after the 24 November deadline. ICAO, meanwhile, has been conducting extensive regional outreach activities to raise and sustain awareness on the deadlines, and has been providing assistance and capacity-building as appropriate to assist States in need.
“Assistance and capacity-building for States is an important aspect of ICAO’s mandate, and an area we are attaching significant priority on at present under our No Country Left Behind initiative,” highlighted Secretary General Liu. “ICAO is grateful for the cooperation and actions undertaken by our Member States in support of this deadline, and we are continuing to work with them today to bring greater efficiency to identity management and border control challenges under our Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) strategy.”
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