Belgium Features Cartoon Characters On New Passport

Wouldnt you like to travel with your favourite cartoon character for company Belgian passports lead the way.
A Brussels Airlines Airbus A320 OO-SNB special featuring Tintin livery at Domodedovo airport
A Brussels Airlines Airbus A320 OO-SNB special featuring Tintin livery at Domodedovo airport

Adding security features to the passport, the most important piece of document required for international travel, is common. But Belgium decided to add an interesting feature, which not only adds an extra layer of security but also makes it recognizable instantly. Launched by the country&rsquos Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilm&egraves on January 27 this year, the new passport&rsquos security and personalization techniques use images of popular cartoon characters.

According to Sophie Wilm&egraves, they found that the new passport allowed them an opportunity to highlight the 9th art, the comic strip, which is a central element of Belgian culture and their influence abroad. So they decided to use illustrations such as Tintin&rsquos rocket, the Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Bob & Bobette and Marsupilami, among others.

The deputy prime minister thanked the publishing houses and right holders - Bonte Magazine, IMPS/LAFIG, Mediatoon, Moulinsart SA, Standaard Uitgeverij - who agreed to allow their famous cartoon figures to illustrate the new Belgian passport.

But this is not the first time that Belgium has planned a thematically designed passport. The current passport, introduced in 2008, features the country&rsquos official buildings.

To mark the launch of the new passport, a temporary exhibition on the history of the Belgian passport will be accessible at the Comics Art Museum located in the heart of the Belgian capital, Brussels, until March 6, 2022. For each picture there are two visuals a traditional ink print that passport holders will see on their document and a simulation of printing in UV ink, normally invisible to the naked eye and only revealed under a UV lamp like those of international border controls. The superposition of the two inks inside the design itself is one of the many security elements intended to protect the passport, the museum website said.

The new Belgian passport has been developed in close cooperation with anti-fraud specialists of the Federal Police and will be manufactured by the consortium of companies Zetes and Thales. It will be available from February 7 this year. However, the old passport will be valid until its expiry date. The Belgian foreign affairs ministry has also said that despite the addition of new security features, the passport fees remain unchanged at 65 euros (for adults) and 35 euros (for minors) for an ordinary 34-page passport requested under the standard procedure, excluding municipal taxes, which each municipality is free to set.

The ministry, quoting, said that the Belgian passport currently allows its citizens to travel to 149 countries, 110 of which are visa-free.

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