The role expert security paper manufacturer, Portals, played in the previous two design issuances of the United Kingdom passport, was absolutely vital to the overall security of the books – widely recognised as being amongst the most secure in the world.
Working closely with the customer, Portals responded to the specific challenges and threats identified by the Passport Service and developed new innovative solutions to counter these potential attacks. Cylinder mould made watermarks were used throughout both documents with the watermark design integrating directing with the print designs. Electrotype page numbering was also present for both the A series and B series books.
Additional innovations included banded fibres on the bio-data and observations pages, along with Edgestone™ and Cornerstone™ to protect the edges of the bio-data page for both issues, with the unique and complex Skylight™ watermarking feature used on the end papers and bio-data page for the B series passport.
Having continuously supplied the paper for the UK Passport since the 1920’s, Portals commitment and partnership with this long-standing customer has seen many developments over the years. This included transition to a mould made watermark in 1972 and to a 100% wood pulp furnish in 2006 to enhance tamper evidence and watermark clarity. The introduction of many new and improved features that responded to market trends in counterfeit and fraud were added from 2010 to 2020
The UK passport has a ten-year validity and has been manufactured with paper made from 100% wood pulp for three design variants, confirming the security and durability of such paper.