26 July 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgium’s new electronic identity cards will cost up to four times the price of their low tech counterparts, it was revealed on Monday.
Communes in charge of distributing the new ID cards may charge citizens EUR 10 to 15 for each hi-tech card, in comparison to the present EUR 5 to 7.
The new documents will have to be renewed every five years rather than every ten, which also contributes to the cost burden, effectively quadrupling the price.
Communes themselves will have to pay the federal government EUR 10 rather than the EUR 4 demanded for the traditional model.
Whether these costs will be passed on to the consumer will be left to the discretion of individual Belgian communes.
But some have already decided to charge EUR 15.
Every Belgian will be required to own an electronic ID card by the end of 2009.
Around 55,000 electronic cards have already been distributed already in 11 test communes.
The 578 remaining communes will begin distributing the new cards in the following months.
[Copyright: Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news