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EU's digital COVID certificate should "serve as a blueprint for other nations," IATA says

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  •   08-27-2021  7:01 am
  •   Pax Global Media
EU's digital COVID certificate should "serve as a blueprint for other nations," IATA says
The EU Digital COVID Certificate is facilitating safe travel in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. (European Parliament/europarl.europa.eu)
Pax Global Media

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is applauding the European Commission for its leadership and speed in delivering the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) and is urging states to make it their global standard for digital vaccine certificates.

“The DCC was delivered in record time to help facilitate the reopening of EU states to travel. In the absence of a single global standard for digital vaccine certificates, it should serve as a blueprint for other nations looking to implement digital vaccination certificates to help facilitate travel and its associated economic benefits,” said Conrad Clifford, IATA’s deputy director general in a statement. 

The EU DCC meets key criteria which have been identified as important if a digital vaccination certificate is to be effective:

  • Format: the DCC has the flexibility to be used in both paper and digital format
  • QR code: The DCC QR code can be included in both digital and paper format. It contains essential information as well as a digital signature to make sure the certificate is authentic.
  • Verification and authentication: The European Commission has built a gateway through which the encrypted data used to sign DCCs and required to authenticate certificate signatures can be distributed across the EU. The gateway can be also used to distribute encrypted data of non-EU certificate issuers other issuers. The EU has also developed a specification for machine readable Validation Rules for cross-country travel.

The EU DCC is implemented in the 27 EU Member states and a number of reciprocal agreements have been agreed with other states’ own vaccination certificates, including Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine

READ MORE: “Early this fall”: Feds announce vaccine credential program for foreign travel

In the absence of a single global standard for digital vaccination certificates, up to 60 other countries are looking to use the DCC specification for their own certification. 

"The DCC is an excellent model as it is consistent with the latest World Health Organization Guidance and is fully supported by IATA Travel Pass," IATA noted. 

Coming to Canada in "early fall"

Canada does not yet have a health credential system that is recognized internationally. However, a globally recognized platform is expected to launch soon. 

Federal officials, on Aug. 11, said fully vaccinated Canadians be able to obtain a vaccine certificate for the purpose of resuming international travel by "early fall." 

The credentials will be available to Canadian citizens, permanent residents and temporary residents and it may utilize technology already used in the ArriveCAN app, which currently helps inform inbound internationals. 

"For Canadians who decide to travel, using a proof of vaccination will provide foreign border officials with the vaccination history needed to assess whether a traveller meets their public health requirements and provide a trusted and verifiable credential for when they return home," the Government of Canada stated earlier this month.

An official launch date for the new platform hasn't been announced yet. 

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