Thursday, September 28, 2006

DHS Deploys E-Passport Readers

RFID Law Journal
Newsletter No. 20
September 28, 2006

At San Francisco International Airport, the U.S Department of Homeland Security completed its deployment of e-Passport readers. This is the first deployment of such readers, and it is expected that the DHS will continue deploying these readers at several other U.S. airports in the coming weeks to satisfy the congressional deadline (i.e., October 26, 2006) which mandates comparison and authentication of data in e-Passports issued by Visa Waiver Program countries. The e-Passport reader deployment is viewed as an ongoing process, i.e., the first in a series of steps toward further enhancement of security for international travel documents.

As of October 26, 2006, a VWP country citizen shall be required to carry a valid e-Passport to travel to the United States without a visa. Valid e-Passports comply with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) technical standards. Pursuant to the requirements of the U.S. Border Security Act of 2002, the DHS is deploying e-Passport readers to U.S. ports of entry so that these ports can be capable of comparing and authenticating data from e-Passports by the congressional deadline. The U.S. port of entry inspection process is not expected to change for e-Passport holders, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, equipped with the e-Passport readers, will be able to read the e-Passport chip at their inspection booths. VWP travelers can verify whether or not their passport meets the new requirements by locating the details at

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