The new ePassport was launched in January 2019 and features an array of state-of-the-art security features and an eye-catching ultraviolet design. This includes images of the Tsing Ma Bridge and the regional flag as background print, while the data page shows the national flag above the city’s, next to the Golden Bauhinia Square – the national emblem of Hong Kong.
The biodata page, made of polycarbonate and carrying micro-printing, contains a laser-engraved portrait photo of the holder under a transparent layer – a technology specifically adopted for smart ID applications.
A so-called fanning effect on the passport’s open side displays the word ‘Hong Kong’ in Chinese characters and the letters ‘HK’ when page edges are viewed at an angle. When the edges are viewed from the opposite direction, a picture of the Tsing Ma Bridge also appears.
To streamline procedures, self-service kiosks have been introduced to allow people to take photos and collect the passports later.
According to the Hong Kong Immigration Department, the ePassport is making it tougher to counterfeit travel documents. In 2018, more than 700,000 Hong Kong passports were issued while the same year saw authorities recover 449 forged travel documents (in 2017 the number stood at 515).