Identifying impostors and forged documents, enhancing co-operation between Ukrainian and UK border services key focus of OSCE study visit

Border guards from Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service honed their skills in detecting impostors and forged documents at border crossing points during an expert-led study visit in the United Kingdom organized by the OSCE Secretariat Transnational Threats Department from 7 to 10 May 2024.

The border guards from Ukraine emphasized the necessity of such study visits. “This visit gave our guards a first-hand look at some of the latest methods and technology in travel document production and border security and control. Our experts will be able to use what they learned to more effectively stop forged documents and better understand the modern security features and technology used in many new documents today, including in those produced in the UK.”

The four-day visit featured instructional sessions by UK experts on methods for issuing UK passports, identifying forged documents, and drafting alerts. A roundtable discussion explored ways to enhance future co-operation between the UK Home Office and representatives from Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service.

The 11 visiting border guards took part in on-site visits to the HM Passport Office and London Gatwick Airport in London to see the border control operations in action. The guards responsible for document authenticity assessments also met on-site with the UK National Document Fraud Unit to exchange good practices, provide an overview of Ukraine’s Main Forensic Centre, and discuss ways to further their co-operation.

The visit to London Gatwick Airport was also an opportunity for the border guards, including senior officers from the Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, to prepare for the eventual resumption of civil aviation operations in Ukraine. They observed first-hand the implementation of automated border control e-gates, discussed good practices in managing document checks of passengers at airports, and participated in a high-level overview of border control operations at the airport.

The study visit was held in close co-operation with the United Kingdom Home Office, including the UK Border Force and HM Passport Office, with support from the UK Delegation to the OSCE. It was the last part of the 2023 training cycle for the 11 border guards, who had previously completed an OSCE Training of Trainers course in July 2023.

These study and training activities are part of an ongoing project supporting OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation in reducing the illegal crossing of borders by using a fake or stolen identity. This project is funded by the United States.

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