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IATA Backs European Digital Covid Certificate as Global Standard

IATA Backs European Digital Covid Certificate as Global Standard

 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) commended the European Commission for its leadership and speed in delivering the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) and urged 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.

The EU DCC meets several 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.

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.

IATA also complimented the DCC as being an excellent model for its consistency with the latest World Health Organization Guidance and is fully supported by IATA Travel Pass.

Another benefit of the DCC, says IATA, is that it enables holders to access non-aviation sites in Europe that require proof of vaccination, such as museums, sporting events and concerts.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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