Dutch passports to get biometric security chip

PT       2003-01-30 
Starting autumn, 2004, Dutch passports are to be equipped with an electronic chip containing the passport holders’ biometric details, reports the Dutch financial daily, NRC Handelsblad,
The chip’s introduction is to coincide with the deadline of a new US law – to come into effect October, 2004 – that requires visitors to the US to have passports capable of holding information electronically - distinguishing biometrics such as fingerprints, or facial or iris scans.
The Dutch authorities, who have been working since 1998 to ensure that the use of biometrically secured passports falls within Dutch law, completed their investigation into iris-scan security at the end of 2002.
In the event that these secure passports are not available by the deadline, Dutch travellers to the US will be able to purchase a biometrically secured entry-visa at their nearest American consulate.