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OSCE held advanced trainings on detecting forged travel documents

Mission Activity
Border security and management


The goal of the trainings is to further enhance the skills of 40 Turkish border control officers to detect the latest trends in counterfeiting methods with sessions focusing on issues such as manufacturing processes of travel documents, document security features as well as profiling.


The growing volume of new passports and other identity documents in circulation has resulted in a diversification of forgery trends and more complex forgery methods, exacerbating their detection. Many border control officers lack up to date information on the latest trends in document fraud, as well on the plethora of new travel document security features in circulation – both of which complicate forgery identification during the inspection process at border control. In order to respond to such border security threats, border police, customs officials and other agencies concerned with border security must improve operational and analytical capacities.

Recognizing that border control capacities for the efficient detection of forged documents are one of the most significant tools to counter in one envelope concerns of terrorism, trafficking and organized crime, the OSCE training course “Increasing Operational Awareness to Detect Forged Documents” was designed to assist national authorities with building such capacities.

The Transnational Threats Department/Action against Terrorism Unit jointly with United States European Command (EUCOM) organised, from 5 to 17 May 2014, two back-to-back Advanced Training Courses on detecting forged travel documents at Istanbul airport to increase the operational awareness of 40 border control officers (20 each week) to detect forged travel documents.

Since these are advanced level courses the training will build on the existing skills of officers related to travel document security, and seek to complement and add to them through in-depth knowledge about the manufacturing process, document security features, as well as the latest trends in counterfeiting methods and means of identifying them.

The primary project objective is further increasing the practical abilities of border control officers to detect forged documents by disseminating knowledge on:

  • Security features of passports common in the region;
  • Security features of diverse visas;
  • Framework of various visa regimes in order to be able to apply adequate profiling (including national visa of Schengen states); and
  • Document security features.

This will be done by:

  • Further strengthening technical expertise and practical knowledge of forged documents.
  • In-depth knowledge about document printing techniques and security features in various passports, visas and other official travel documents.
  • Sharing the experience, knowledge and expertise of international experts with participants by employing specialized training aids, such as original and forged document documents brought by the trainers.
  • Exercising practical work on original, forged and false documents.
  • Understanding and using forensic equipment to identify document forgery.

The training course has been well received by OSCE participating States and the OSCE has organized the course on multiple occasions throughout the OSCE region. The Austrian training material has also been accepted by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Co-operation at the External Borders (FRONTEX) as a best practice. The training will be conducted by two trainers from the Austrian Ministry of Interior.


Added on
05 Aug 2016
OSCE Secretariat / Transnational Threats Department / Action against Terrorism Unit
document checking, forgery, identification, machine readable travel documents