Ongoing global shortages of chips and other key components combined with a post-COVID surge in demand for electronic passports and electronic identity (eID) cards will continue to have a severe impact on the global supply of electronic documents over the year 2023.
Billions of people on the globe depend on eID cards, electronic passports, and other identity-related systems. Today, all over the world, citizens are facing longer delays when requesting a document, affecting their right to travel or exercise other civil rights.
A 40 percent decrease in passport demand during the COVID crisis resulted in a huge backlog of documents not renewed or emitted in the last two years. On top of this, the relaxation of travel restrictions led to an unprecedented surge in travel document demands in 2022 worldwide, placing further pressure on the identity ecosystem.
This situation is worsened by additional factors: war in Ukraine obliging to change delivery routes and the COVID wave repetition that is causing absenteeism and delays in deliveries.
The secure document industry is facing shortages of several key components, mainly the availability of chips but also increasing lead times for paper, plastics and other essential elements.
The latest COVID wave in Asia and associated lockdowns since the beginning of the second quarter of this year have reduced the availability of chips.
The Secure Identity Alliance (SIA) is calling all industry and government stakeholders to take immediate actions:
- Leverage governments and industry’s voice to urge suppliers to prioritize mission critical delivery of Identity supplies,
- Work together to anticipate, and forecast as accurately as possible, in order to secure the necessary components,
- Develop citizens’ awareness on the reasons of document delivery delays and encourage them to anticipate their renewal requests.
These sets of actions are essential to protect the primary rights of citizens to enjoy a civil identity and the right to travel.
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