Passport fail: Taiwan recalls 200 000 passports after featuring wrong airport

2017-12-28 11:30 - Kavitha Pillay
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Taiwan's misprinted passport. (Photo: Twitter)

Cape Town - An airport mix-up leading to a misprint on Taiwan’s passport has resulted in the country recalling passports that mistakenly feature an image of Washington-Dulles Airport instead of its very own Taoyuan International Airport.

According to Travel and Leisure, the error on the passport – which began distribution last week – was pointed out on local social media network Weibo on Monday, 25 December. On Tuesday, 26 December, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) “acknowledged the mistake and recalled the 285 passports that had already been issued to Taiwanese citizens”.

A total of 200 000 copies of the passport book had already been printed — all of which the Taiwanese government will destroy.

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According to Taiwan’s ministry, the misprint occurred because the “designers had mistakenly chosen the wrong airport image”.

“In the designer’s defence, the architects behind Taoyuan Airport’s Terminal One were reportedly inspired by Eero Saarinen’s design for Dulles Airport,” says Travel and Leisure.


The ministry will reprint 200 000 passports with a new design, that should be ready by the end of January 2018. According to MOFA, applicants waiting for passports in the meantime will receive first-generation e-passports, which the Ministry still has in stock.

MOFA issued a reprint of the e-passports for increased security measures.

The new passports include a third image of the passport holder, a metallic surface relief and background images of “landmarks and cultural customs, all symbolic of a dynamic Taiwan,” says the ministry.

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