The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the bill "On the Single State Register of demographics and documents confirming the citizenship of Ukraine, proving his identity or special status." According to the document, Ukrainian passport is an identity document and proof of citizenship of Ukraine. A passport of citizen of Ukraine is made for all individuals from birth, regardless of age, and must be revised every ten years.

Ukrainian passport is produced in the form of a card containing a contactless electronic media. Ukrainian passport includes the following information: name of the state, the name of the document; surname, name of the person, sex, nationality, date of birth, a unique entry number in the registry, document number, date of expiry of the document, the date of issuance of the document, the authorized entity that issued the document, place of birth, a digitized image of the person; digitized signature.

The bill also provides for issuance of biometric foreign travel passports, seafarers, crew member certificate, identity card for return to Ukraine, a temporary certificate of a citizen of Ukraine, identification documents personality and its special status, driver's license, certificate of stateless person for travel abroad, migrant card, certificate of refugee, refugee travel document, permanent or temporary residence card.

Before issuing such documents, the Singe state demographic register will be filled with personal data of a person: name and surname, date of birth / death, place of birth, sex, date of introduction of information about a person in the register, information about parents (adoptive), guardians, trustees and other representatives, information on citizenship or its absence and reason for acquisition of citizenship of Ukraine; details of the documents issued (type, document name, serial number, date of issue, name of the authorized person issuing the document, the validity of the document); information about the documents, confirming the death of the person; a digitized image of the person.

The single register will also include the additional transient data: registration place, marital status, issuance of privatization documents, optional biometric data, parameters, information from official information systems.

ForUm has asked politicians, diplomats and law specialists about the reasons of introduction of similar documents and wide database of personal information.

Vasyl Hrytsak, MP from the Party of Regions faction, author of the draft bill on Single register:

- Introduction of biometric passports is not our whim. According to the OSCE decision, all member-countries must introduce biometric system before January 1, 2015. Moreover, all member-countries of ICAO must use biometric documents as well. Ukraine is a member of ICAO since 1992.

The goal of this law is to create a register of individuals of Ukraine from their birth to death with full history. It means that from January 1 all newborns will be photographed and will get their biometric passports. Fingerprints, though, will be taken after 18. As for adults, their documents will contain full biometric information. People will be able to get new internal passports at will, or if the passport of old model is lost or when it's time to change the passport photo (at the age of 25 and 45)ю

According to the European standards, we were supposed to name the new document an identity card. But we decided to meet the demands of those citizens, who visit CIS countries regularly. As you know, such visits require only internal passports, and travelers do not need foreign travel passports. We know that only 30% of Ukraine's populations have foreign travel passports, while almost 3.5 million people visit CIS countries annually.

Driving licenses will also have a special status and can be showed instead of passports to police officers.

The organization responsible for issuance of biometric passports is the department of the State migration service attached to the Interior Ministry of Ukraine. To my calculations, the biometric passport will cost no more than 450 hryvnias.

Ihor Koliushko, head of the Center for political and legal reforms:

- The adopted bills provides for inadequate and exaggerated collection of personal information. In particular, one database will contain all data about a person, his marital live, economic status, property, etc. At the same time the document does not provide grounds for creation of such database, but merely states that this data base will serve for storage, protection, processing, usage and distribution of the information about a person and his documents.

I support the necessity to introduce biometric passports as a part of the Action Plan on simplification of visa regime with the EU. But the adoption of this law does not meet the goal, as it creates a system which will allow the state to interfere with personal life of its citizens.

Yuri Karmazin, MP from the Our Ukraine faction:

- In general, the law is not perfect, but still it may bring certain advantages, like simplification of the visa regime with the EU countries. Europe is afraid that Ukraine has become a shelter for migrants from the East. This law may be used by migration services, which can deport illegal migrants. We all know that there are whole infrastructures of illegal migrants, living in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, Chernovtsy. It is important to have controlled migration. For this purpose, the introduction of biometric passports is a positive thing. However, every god idea can be ruined by improper realization.

Ihor Kogut, head of the Laboratory for legislative initiatives:

- If the introduction of biometric passports indeed helps to simplify the travelling to EU countries, it is a very positive thing. But, there is a 'but', which concerns safety of information - there is a risk of information leak. In our country, unfortunately, nobody can guarantee safety. There is a law on protection of personal data, of course, but we all know how various firms buy the phone databases to send commercial promotions.

Gennady Moscal, MP from the Our Ukraine factions, first deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on fight against organized crime and corruption:

- Today, the internal passport costs 3.7 hryvnias, and 37 million people have it. But when this law comes into forces, the new electronic passport will be given to every citizen regardless of age. The cost of new passport will make about 200 hryvnais, and every ten years it must be reissued. But the point is that state structures cannot issue produce such passports, thus this mission will be laid on private enterprises. It is an obvious way to earn at the expense of Ukrainian citizens. And if we take into account the fact that this ID card may be lost, the financial pressure on citizens increases manyfold.

Oleh Voloshyn, spokesman of the Foreign Ministry:

Introduction of biometric passports is one of the key conditions set by the EU, which cannot be avoided. When we reach visa-free travel regime - only people with biometric passport will be able to travel to the EU without visas. Getting a biometric passport is not obligatory - a person can leave the old passport. This does not mean that a person will not be able to travel to the EU. In this case, such person will have to apply for a visa, as visa free regime will cover only those having biometric passports. A very introduction of visa-free travel without passports is impossible, so the adoption of this law is extremely important. However, there are no demands to oblige all Ukrainians to apply for biometric passports.


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