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Passports

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which countries she expects to be issuing passports which are not capable of being read by electronic or automated or electronic passport readers when the e-borders system is fully operational. (160171)

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requires all of its (183) contracting states to begin issuing machine readable passports (MRP) by April 2010. Such passports will be capable of being read by electronic passport readers. Consequently it is anticipated that there will be few, if any, countries not issuing machine readable passports by the time e-borders is fully operational.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate her Department has made of the number of passports issued by other countries which are not capable of being read by automated or electronic passport readers. (160172)

The number of countries issuing passports that are not capable of being read by automated or electronic readers is relatively small in comparison to the total number of machine readable passports issued worldwide in accordance with the specifications set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).