Council of Ministers changes basic legislation for Electronic Passport

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Today, two Decree-Laws were approved by the Council of Ministers to amend legislation created in 2000 to regulate electronic passports. One of the approved decrees approves the legal regime for granting and issuing the Portuguese electronic passport while another regulates the organization and functioning of the Information System for the Portuguese electronic passport.

This is the third amendment to Decree-Law No. 83/2000, of 11 May, defining the regime for granting and issuing the new Portuguese electronic passport (PEP). The new legislation is part of the security policy for identity and travel documents and is in line with the guidelines of the European Union and the competent international organizations.

The new passport includes a chip that fully reproduces the holder’s biographical elements and also some biometric information, data that is electronically signed. A decentralized procedure for the collection of personal data and the granting of the document was also set up, the issuance being the exclusive responsibility of the National Press-Casa da Moeda.

The document of the Council of Ministers also states that a «unified PEP quality control system and guarantee of the high levels of service that must be achieved in its distribution, both nationally and worldwide,» was created.

The second approved Decree-Law amends Decree-Law no. 86/2000, of 12 May, which regulates the organization and functioning of the Information System of the Portuguese electronic passport. This is how the Portuguese Electronic Passport Information System (SIPEP) was created, which represents the evolution of the current Passport Issuing Database (BADEP), adjusting this information system to the technical and information requirements of the new Portuguese Electronic Passport ( PEP).

The statement clarifies that «the purpose of SIPEP is to register, store, process, keep updated, validate and make available the information associated with the passport granting process, in its different categories, as well as trigger the respective personalization process, in accordance with the the law that regulates the granting and issuing of the PEP «. There is also the guarantee that throughout the process high standards of security, safeguarding privacy and rights related to the protection of personal data are ensured.

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