East Timor joins the global ePassport community


​​​ East Timor issued its first ePassport on May 5th 2017. Last updated 26 October 2017

East Timor, also known as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, has become the latest country to embrace the benefits of an advanced, ICAO-compliant ePassport. As a result, its citizens will now enjoy robust protection against the threats posed by passport fraud and counterfeiting, and a far smoother border crossing experience when traveling abroad.

A young nation state committed to modernization

East Timor is located in south-east Asia, between Indonesia and Australia, and has a population of just over one million. Independence was achieved in 2002, when the country became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century. This developing nation boasts an important oil and gas industry, as well as an agricultural sector focused on the production of coffee beans for export.  The introduction of the country's new biometric passport is the latest example of the government's commitment to modernizing and enhancing public services for its citizens.

ePassports now adopted by over 120 countries worldwide

Over 120 countries worldwide now issue ePassports, also known as electronic passports. 1Bn ePassports are in circulation as of May 2017 according to our electronic passport trends report.

All incorporate an embedded, contactless microprocessor that stores photographic and personal data, providing proof of the holder's identity. By mirroring the information printed on the passport's data page, the inclusion of the microprocessor also makes counterfeiting and tampering much more difficult.

East Timor PassportA one-stop solution from Gemalto

To enable East Timor to join the growing community of countries now issuing ePassports, Gemalto has provided the Ministry of Justice with a comprehensive, one-stop solution.

In addition to the ICAO-compliant ePassport itself, this encompasses a suite of capabilities such as:

  • Easy enrollment,
  • Biometric data capture,
  • De-duplication of redundant biometric information,
  • Disaster and data recovery,
  • as well as a full turnkey public key infrastructure. 

Fast and convenient enrollment of citizens, along with fingerprint capture, is delivered across a network of government offices and embassies. Gemalto also ensures secure document issuance, with the potential for both centralized and decentralized printing.

The full-fledged PKI is provided by Multicert​, that deploys and customizes the technology components and ensures training and knowledge transfer to the PKI team. With Extended Access Control (EAC) enabled, the East Timor passport protects integrity, authenticity and access control to biometric data and ranks as one of the most advanced and secure worldwide.
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The comprehensive program is being delivered in conjunction with local partner Visi Mitra Unipessoal Lda, which has responsibility for maintenance and support. KOMSCO has been sub-contracted to produce the passport booklet.

ICAO compliance ensures a seamless cross-border experience

Gemalto's new travel document for East Timor provides full compliance with the latest ICAO specifications – the recognized global standard for ePassport design.  Furthermore, Gemalto's embedded operating software is recognized as one of the fastest in the world. Passport holders will therefore benefit from swift and seamless processing at international border checkpoints. Matching the specifications required by ICAO will also ease immigration and visa procedures.

"East Timor citizens can now travel anywhere around the world, with unprecedented levels of security and privacy."

East Timor-Leste Passport

Designed for security and civic pride

Leveraging unrivalled experience and expertise in the design and production of travel and identity documentation, Gemalto has helped to create a secure and aesthetic passport design.

Notably, the document features polycarbonate data pages, which are highly resistant to both counterfeiting and tampering. Protection against fraudsters is further enhanced by the use of a wide array of visible, invisible and tactile security features.

These include holograms, laser perforations, micro-printing and multiple laser images. When placed under a UV light, representations of the country's flag and coat of arms are visible.

The document also uses high security printing features such as intaglio printing​, infra-red absorbent ink, color-shifting effects on images (from gold to green), micro-texts and three ply thread to name a few.

As well as boosting homeland security, the modern and attractive design of the passport aims to engender civic pride among citizens. For example, reflecting the key role played by agriculture in the lives of many citizens of East Timor, the illustrations include watermark images of coffee beans.     

"Gemalto strongly supports the ICAO's Traveler Identification Program (TRIP). Our solution is designed with multiple layers of security, from data collection and booklet production to ePassport issuance and use at the borders," said Ng Fook-Seng, Gemalto's senior vice president of Government Programs, Asia.

"As a leading supplier of over 30 national ePassport solutions worldwide, and an expert in both documents and related solutions, Gemalto is pleased to support East Timor's move to next-generation electronic passports and secure the entire chain of trust for a safer travel experience."

Do you think Gemalto can help you design a more secure document?

Gemalto's expertise in secure ePassport design is reflected in the company's support for over 30 programs around the world. These include a number of highly innovative, award-winning projects, such as the recent solutions delivered for Finland and Sweden.

Committed to working in close partnership with clients, Gemalto brings a wealth of experience and know-how to every aspect of the design, production and issuance of ePassports. The company is also recognized for the development of advanced features that help protect documentation against even the most sophisticated attempts at fraud and counterfeiting.

For more details on Gemalto's approach to secure passport design, please discover our 2017 report: Anatomy of a secure travel document

Please also visit our web dossier on high security printing​ and why paper still matters.

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