Tuesday, June 3, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (June 3,2008) - The Bosnian Minister of Civil Affairs Sredoje Novic has announced that the issuing of new biometric Bosnian passports would begin in March 2009. All technical conditions have been met, and offers to providing the document will be invited within the next month.

All “old” passports will be valid until their expiry date, Novic said, which means that there would be a five-year transitional period for all passports issued before March next year. A deadline for transfer to biometrics is expected to be contained within the EC’s visa liberalization roadmap.

A decision to introduce biometric passports in Bosnia was adopted by the Bosnian government last year.Initially, the Bosnian Ministry of Civil Affairs planned to start issuing biometric passports by November 1,2008.

A biometric passport is a combined paper and electronic identity document that uses biometrics to authenticate the citizenship of travelers. The passport's critical information is stored on a tiny computer chip, much like information stored on smartcards. Like some smartcards, the passport book design calls for an embedded contactless chip that is able to hold digital signature data to ensure the integrity of the passport and the biometric data.

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