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2010-03-10 - AFP
Biometric passports: the Imprimerie Nationale cuts lead time to 2 days

The Imprimerie Nationale produces secure documents on behalf of the State. As announced on Wednesday, the Imprimerie Nationale is currently working on ways to cut the biometric passport's lead time to two days. "The Home Office intends to simplify administrative procedures and improve relations with users ", "working alongside the Home Office and the ANTS (Agence nationale des titres sécurisés), the Imprimerie Nationale has set itself a goal: the production should not exceed two days after data reception".
Since 2006 and in compliance with its contractual obligations, the Imprimerie Nationale personalizes electronic passports in a maximum of six days.
In 2009, 90% of passports were personalized in less than three days. Since January 2010, 100% of passports are produced in less than three days.
Passports are produced in two stages, production and personalization.
Production entails the incorporation of a panoply of security features such as watermarks, relief, holograms, iridescent and guilloche backgrounds, micro-letters, security inks and sparkle effects, thus making them counterfeit-proof and reducing the risk of identity fraud.
Personalization entails the graphic incorporation of the holder's photograph, an electronic authentication certificate and personal data, which are then encrypted and secured in the passport's microchip. Depending on the demand, the Imprimerie Nationale produces between 10.000 and 20.000 passports per day.
Since 2006, nearly 11 million electronic passports, including nearly two million biometric passports, have been made at the Imprimerie Nationale's highly secure site in Douai.
The Imprimerie Nationale produces 15 million secure documents each year.