Taiwan forced to correct ePassport error

02/01/18

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will use stickers to cover an error it made in the newly updated Taiwan ePassport.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will use stickers to cover an error it made in the newly updated Taiwan e-passport, which bears an image of Washington's Dulles International Airport instead of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

It will cost around NT$16 million (US$538,600) to make the correction to the 550,000 copies of the e-passports that have already been printed by the Central Engraving and Printing Plant (CEPP), said Christine Tsai the deputy director-general of the MOFA's Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA), reported Focus Taiwan.

Following the discovery of the mistake, the ministry had announced that it would recall 200,000 botched copies and reprint the passport.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee estimates that it will take about one month to apply the stickers, which will show an image of the Taoyuan airport, to the 550,000 copies of the next-generation biometric passports.

The ministry originally thought it was going to have to replace the 550,000 e-passports, which would have cost an estimated NT$220 million.

Lee said the ministry and CEPP have been in talks over the past few days to discuss how to cover the incorrect airport image with the correct one at a cheaper cost to save taxpayers money, and the sticker solution was what they came up with.

The sticker will not jeopardize the integrity of the e-passport as the ministry will inform customs agencies around the world of the decision, according to Tsai.

The passport fiasco was revealed on Dec. 26 in a local media report, which said netizens had been pointing out that one of the images on the pages of the new e-passport was that of Dulles International Airport.

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