The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Thailand has awarded the DGM Consortium a contract to supply 15 million e-passports during a seven-year project, in a deal comprising of Gemalto, a member of Thales Group.
Representing one of the largest passport deployments for the Thales Group worldwide, the move is designed to align with national plans to create a “technically-advanced” country through the Thailand 4.0 initiative.
Alongside Gemalto - acquired by Thales in April 2019 - the consortium also includes Data Products Toppan Forms and and MultiCert.
“Having supported the ambitions of our Thai customers over the last three decades in multiple industries, Thales is strongly committed to developing local industrial capabilities in close collaboration with our partners,” said Massimo Marinzi, country director of Thales Thailand.
Terms of the agreement will see the creation of a 64-page biometric travel document, including an e-cover with a
"thin, flexible" data page made of polycarbonate as well as a window containing a second image of the citizen and a "true colour" UV photo.
According to Marinzi, such security features ensure that the document complies with the "highest standards" of security recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Furthermore the DGM Consortium will also implement a secure end-to-end electronic passport system designed to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act of Thailand.
“The Group has developed some of the world’s most sophisticated e-passports that continuously support governments’ push towards the use of biometrics to ensure quick and secure cross-border movement,” Marinzi added. “We are proud to add Thailand to that list and to help the MOFA strengthen homeland protection and improve the travel experience of Thai citizens.
“We look forward to close collaboration with MOFA and our partners to design and develop a superior e-passport that meets their unique requirements, and that exceeds the highest level of security recommended by ICAO.”
Furthermore, the contract will see the current passport production capacity “increase significantly”, with two “active high security” production sites - a remote and a main facility - set to be established as part of the project.
The deployment will also upgrade citizen-facing enrolment operations in 22 existing managed sites throughout Thailand, backed by an expansion plan to establish 15 new sites across the country, offering more service points for Thai citizens to obtain travel documents.