What you need to know:
- The introduction of the polycarbonate e-passports is expected to ease traveller experience, improve document verification, and enhance travel security for Ugandan citizens
In an effort to increase travel efficiency and security, the Ugandan government has announced the replacement of the previous paper-based e-passports with polycarbonate versions.
In a statement released on March 30, Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said the upgraded e-passports will be of higher quality and durability, as well as better data protection and lower risk of damage.
The polycarbonate e-passports are designed to have strong anti-fraud features, making them suitable for use at e-gates for self-clearance, automated boarding pass issuance, and quick passenger processing around the world. They have electromagnetic chips and have personal data engraved inside the deeper layers of the document with lasers.
They also meet the standards advised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the East African Community (EAC), according to officials.
“These features make the EAC e-Passport suitable for use at e-gates for self-clearance, easy and automated issuance of boarding passes, quick passenger processing worldwide, and full compliance with international security standards, hence easing the traveler’s experience,” Mr Musanyufu said.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has so far issued over one million e-passports since they were unveiled in December 2018.
The cost of acquiring a passport was maintained at $ 65.7333 (Shs250,000) for ordinary while official and diplomatic passports are $ 105.173 (Shs400,000) and $ 131.467 (Shs500,000), respectively.
“Passport fees for upgraded polycarbonate passports remain the same. There is no extra charge. This is not a replacement but simply an upgrade,” the statement added.
While holders of paper-based e-passports should not be concerned because they are still valid and can be used alongside polycarbonate e-passports, new applicants will be issued upgraded e-passports.
“They are valid until their expiry date or until the leaflets are finished. The polycarbonate e-passports merely present an upgrade akin to upgrading software that does not negate the upgraded software itself,” Mr Musanyufu added.
“There is no need to replace paper-based e-passports. Going forward, new applicants will be issued with polycarbonate e-passports.”
The introduction of the polycarbonate e-passports is expected to ease traveller experience, improve document verification, and enhance travel security for Ugandan citizens.