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A new national eID and ePassport in Finland has been celebrated as the industry's best ID document in annual awards that recognise best practice and design.

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Reconnaissance, the organisers of High Security Printing EMEA, revealed the 2017 winner of the Regional ID Document of the Year at a special ceremony during the conference in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 28 March 2017.

The award aims to promote the best in security printing, system infrastructure and implementation of a government passport, identity or other security card scheme.

Winner: New Finnish eID and ePassport

Through 2017 new eID cards and ePassports marking the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence have started to roll out.

Finland became an independent state in 1917 and over the course of the last century, its citizens have demonstrated courage and determination necessary to forge one of the most democratic and progressive nations. It is no surprise therefore, that creative skills and inspiration can be found in abundance in the design of the new ePassport and eID cards that were launched to coincide with Finland’s centennial.

Developed in cooperation with Gemalto’s security design team, each double page inside the passport shows different scenery from the north, with the Northern Lights and snowflakes appearing in the visible printwork and under UV. Elements characterising Finland also include the whooper swan, (the national bird of Finland), Finland’s coat of arms, a poem by Finnish poet Eino Leino and a lakeside landscape on the inner cover page of the passport.

The new passport incorporates a range of innovative security features. The user’s photograph is replicated five times within the document, using various techniques such as the Gemalto’s Sealys Window Lock where a negative ghost image is laser personalised into a metallic foil hidden in a transparent window. The holder’s personal information is also laser engraved on the edge of the polycarbonate page. The moiré effect printing technique, which creates the effect of a 3D image on a flat page, is also incorporated.

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Applications for the new ePassport can be filed online, with applicants confirming their identity via national ID cards or BankID and uploading their digital photo directly from the photo studio to the online police application.

The overall design for the new biometric passport and national ID card was chosen on the basis of public consultation, combined with the close co-operation with Gemalto. With the new documents Finland has raised the bar on the level of protection provided for a centennial state and its forward-thinking citizens.

Special Achievement Award: Service of Technological Security of State Documents under the Ministry of Finance, Lithuania

In addition to the regional ID document award, a Special Achievement Award was made to the Service of Technological Security of State Documents under the Ministry of Finance, Lithuania, for their new driving licence.

Since regaining its independence in 1990 Lithuania has introduced four generations of driver’s licences. Whilst the licence is not recognised in the country as an identity document, it became one of the most frequently forged state documents, prompting the government to upgrade it six times over the course of 12 years. Over that period, to combat counterfeiting, the Service made progressive changes to the design of the document.

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The latest redesign incorporates a suite of modern security features and includes a number of advanced features such as diffractive and UV elements, embossing and anti-copy patterns as well as a transparent window integrating the holder’s secondary photo. The new document is produced by Oberthur Technologies, with Vision-Box supplying an integrated biometric enrolment solution for Regitra, the Lithuanian State Enterprise responsible for issuing the country’s licences.

The history of the Lithuanian driver’s licence demonstrates that what may seem a straightforward issue can take years to contain. Full credit should be given to Lithuania for their continuous efforts in developing a state of the art document, which to date remains the only version that has seen no counterfeits.

About the awards

The award judges comprised the Board of Directors of Reconnaissance International, the conference organiser and publisher of ID & Secure Document News.

Nominations were sought from the high security printing community and, for future awards, this community will be invited to take part in the process of shortlisting winners as well.

Note to Editors:

Reconnaissance International is the leading global source of technical and business intelligence for secure documents, personal identification, authentication and anti-counterfeiting, tax stamps and currency. Its activities cover the production of five industry-specific monthly newsletters, conferences and seminars, selected directories and industry reports, as well as strategic consulting for governments and businesses.

For more information, visit www.reconnaissance.net

Photos from the awards ceremony