– Advertisement –
Recent media reports that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had certified the Ghana Card and deemed it comparable to an e-Passport were characterized as “incorrect” by the ICAO.
According to a statement given to GhanaWeb, the organization’s mandate does not include certifying documents that can be used in place of passports for overseas travel.
The ICAO went on to say that certain media coverage of its recent event in Montreal, Canada, where Ghana signed on to its Public Key Directory (PKD), revealed a lack of understanding of “its role in establishing what documents may be accepted by States for border control and immigration processes.”
According to the statement, the media falsely claimed that “ICAO has agreed to the equivalency of the Ghanaian ID card and an ePassport.”
“It is the sovereign right of each individual State to determine its entrance and exit criteria, as well as the documents that must be produced by people travelling to and/or from its territory,” they concluded.
“Standard 3.6 of ICAO’s Annex 9 – Facilitation of the Chicago Convention indicates that at a valid passport recognized by the receiving State and a valid visa, where appropriate, are the principal documents of identity to be used when travelling by air.”
ICAO further highlighted that, while national identity cards may be used as travel documents in some cases, such situations are dependent on the receiving state or existing bilateral agreements.
“A number of States worldwide accept specified national ID cards as identity documents during air travel based on bilateral agreement between issuing and receiving states. Importantly, any decision to accept such alternative travel identity documents is made by the receiving state itself,” the statement stressed.
Ghana became a member of the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD) on February 9, 2022, a central repository for exchanging the information needed to authenticate ePassports.
The Ghana Card, on the other hand, was validated as an e-passport by ICAO, giving users access to 197 countries and over 44,000 airports globally.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is aware of recent and inaccurate media stories alleging that the Ghanaian ID card is similar to an ePassport. However, it is not ICAO’s responsibility to certify the use of a State’s Identity Card in place of a passport for international travel.
Each state has the sovereign right to determine its own entry and exit restrictions, as well as the documents that must be produced by people travelling to and/or from its territory.
Based on bilateral agreements between issuing and receiving nations, a number of countries throughout the world accept specific national ID cards as identity credentials for air travel.
The receiving state makes the decision to accept such alternative travel identity documents.
Ghana’s successful completion of its crucial ceremony on February 9 is a significant step forward in the country’s quest to increase international acceptance of its electronic travel credentials.