The key steps in joining a technologically advanced ePassport verification system - the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Public Key Directory (ICAO PKD) – were explored at a regional workshop organized by the Border Security and Management Unit of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department in Budva, Montenegro on 15 and 16 November 2018.
The workshop brought together the heads of the Travel Document Issuing Authorities, chiefs of the IT Departments of the Travel Document Issuing Authorities and heads of the Passport Verification Departments from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro, to get acquainted with the ICAO PKD, which enables countries to effectively validate the chip stored in electronic passports.
Electronic passports are fraud resistant travel documents which make it harder for terrorists and criminals to forge travel documents. But having ePassports is not enough, the workshop’s experts said. The receiving authorities need to confirm that the ePassport belongs to its holder, and the ICAO PKD enables this.
Representatives from each state presented the ePassport systems and the National Public Key Infrastructures they currently have in place, enabling the experts to assess which of the requirements they meet in order to join the ICAO PKD.
As a follow-up, the OSCE will arrange country visits to encourage decision-makers to join the ICAO PKD. This will be followed by technical support to provide on-site practical guidance and operational support in developing national compatibilities with the ICAO PKD.