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Law on biometric passports comes into force in Ukraine

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Dec. 6, 2012, 2:37 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

The law of Ukraine on a unified state demographic register and identity documents, which envisages the introduction of electronic passports for Ukrainians, comes into force on Thursday, December 6.
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The law of Ukraine on a unified state demographic register and identity documents, which envisages the introduction of electronic passports for Ukrainians, comes into force on Thursday, December 6. 

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed this law on November 20, taking into account proposals made by the president. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed the law on November 29.

This law lays down the procedure for issuing a large number of documents that will be used on the territory of Ukraine. According to the law, these documents are issued on the basis of the unified state demographic register, which certifies one's identity, along with driver's licenses, the certificate of a stateless person, a permanent residence certificate, a temporary residence certificate, a migrant's card, and a refugee certificate.

The document foresees the introduction of electronic passports containing electronic chips with biometric information for traveling abroad, according to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

According to the law, the passports of Ukrainian citizens will be produced in the form of cards with contactless smart chips and issued no later than 30 calendar days from the date of the submission of a relevant application. The electronic passports will include the name of the state, the name of the document, the full name of the holder, the holder's gender, citizenship, date of birth, and a unique number in the register, the number of the document, the date of the document's expiry, the date of issue of the document, the name of the agency that issued the document, the place of birth, a photo and the signature of the holder.

Information about the parents or the guardian of the holder may be included to the document upon a relevant written request.

At the president's request, a new provision has been included in the law that says that people who refuse to enter their personal information in an electronic chip due to their religious beliefs have the right to refuse to use this document or the insertion of such information into the chip.

To realize this right, they need to submit an application to the relevant central executive authority stating their refusal to receive the document containing a chip or from entering their personal data into this chip.

The president also suggested that the payment for the issuing of such documents should be covered from the revenues of the general fund of the budget.

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