BASSETERRE, St Kitts -- Following a decision by the government of St Kitts and Nevis in 2012 to issue new and improved e-passports, the ministry of homeland security has been monitoring the federation's compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
In an effort to ensure compliance, such efforts have focused primarily on strengthening the system to prevent fraudulent use of passports issued by the government of St Kitts and Nevis.
Accordingly, in February, two new significant additional security features have been incorporated into all e-passports issued by St Kitts and Nevis.
The first new security feature incorporated into the passport is the encoding of the 'country of birth' of all holders of travel documents issued by St Kitts and Nevis.
Secondly, in instances where holders of St Kitts and Nevis passports effect changes to their names through legal processes, the change is now noted on the observation page in the passport.
These changes, achieved through the ongoing work of the Canadian Bank Note Company, have been subjected to the required testing and due diligence and are intended to ensure the federation's continued compliance with the ICAO standards.
It should be noted that current holders of passports issued by the government of St Kitts and Nevis are not affected by the changes. All valid passports can still be used for travel purposes.
The government said it is conscious of its obligations and commitments to all citizens and residents of the federation as well as to a number of regional and international organizations. Every effort will therefore be expended to ensure compliance to prevent fraudulent and or unauthorized use of passports issued by St Kitts and Nevis through its ministry of homeland security.