Kosovo amongst first in EU to adapt new passports

The latest passports, issued by the Republic of Kosovo, contain Infineon security chips of the SLE 78 product family with “Integrity Guard,” which offers the highest level of data security over the long term and are ideally suited for sovereign documents with a long period of validity.

“Our security chips create the technological pre-requisite for more data security and provide trust in electronic passports and eIDs on the part of public authorities and citizens,” says Carsten Loschinsky for, Head of Business Line Government ID for the Chip Card & Security Division of Infineon Technologies.


800,000 Electronic Passports

To fulfill continually increasing security requirements for contactless access to data stored on the passport, the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) now recommends use of the SAC protocol. In contrast to the earlier generation BAC (Basic Access Control) protocol, SAC is based on asymmetric encryption.

Within the EU, SAC will be mandatory for electronic passports issued from December 2014. As the first European country to comply with the new requirement, the Republic of Kosovo will issue 800,000 electronic passports. According to current estimates from market research firm IHS, roughly 192 million electronic passports are in circulation in Europe. In this region, over 30 million new electronic passports are issued each year.