India launches world’s first facial biometric data-based ID for seafarers

Union Ministry of Shipping has launched Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID) to ne issued for Indian seafarers. With this, India became world’s first country to launch facial biometric data-based identity document (ID) for seafarers.

About BSID

  • Implementing agencies: This project has been taken up by Union Ministry of Shipping in collaboration with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Mumbai.
  • Rules: It is being implemented in pursuance of Government notified the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers Bio-metric Identification Document) Rules in 2016.
  • Features: Issuance of SID involves collection of biometric and demographic details of seafarers, their verification and then issuance of the card to them.
  • It has dimensions of smart ID card. It has modern security features like embedded biometric chip, optical security features such as micro prints/micro texts and Unique Guilloche pattern. Its security is ensured at various levels and through different methods. At the time of its data capturing, live face is cross matched through passport photo using face matching software. Software has been developed for capturing facial biometrics and its authentication through public key infrastructure. Record of each SID issued will be maintained in national database and its related information will be internationally accessible.
  • Significance: It is in confirmation of Convention No. 185 of International Labour Organisation (ILO) on BSID. India ratified this convention in October 2015. It will give foolproof identification to Indian seafarers which will facilitate their movement, provide ease of getting jobs and help in identifying them from any location in the world.


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