EU asks US for more time on biometric passports

30th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 March 2005, BRUSSELS - Germany is ready to meet the October deadline for biometric passports, but other EU states need more time to comply with US regulations, the EU Commission said on Wednesday.

30 March 2005

BRUSSELS - Germany is ready to meet the October deadline for biometric passports, but other EU states need more time to comply with US regulations, the EU Commission said on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Commission - the EU's executive arm - said European Justice Commissioner, Franco Frattini, had written to the US Congress asking for the postponement of a deadline on issuing biometric passports for travellers to the United States until late August next year.

The spokesman said Belgium, Germany, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Luxembourg were ready to meet the original deadline of 26 October 2005 for the introduction of facial images in passports.

But he said other EU states required more time to comply with the US requirements.

Under US rules adopted after 11 September 2001, foreign passengers, including EU citizens, with passports issued without biometric data will have to apply for a visa as of the 26 October deadline.

Frattini also said the EU needed more time to include fingerprints in passports, arguing that this covered the politically sensitive issue of personal data protection.

DPA

Subject: German news

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