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New Technical Specifications for Visible Digital Seal for Non-constrained Environments

  • 14 Jun 2021

ICAO has published new technical specifications for a Visible Digital Seal (VDS) for non-constrained environments. This is supplemented by the Visible Digital Seals (“VDS-NC”) for Travel-Related Public Health Proofs Guidelines.


Airport Information Technology and innovation experts should be aware of this specification for their design and implementation airport passenger check point automation initiatives. 


What is VDS? 

A visible digital seal is a cryptographically signed data structure containing document features, encoded as a two-dimensional (2D) barcode and printed on a document. The ICAO VDS stores datasets for test and vaccination certificates in a 2D barcode which can be paper- or screen-based. Border control and other receiving parties can verify the data against established requirements efficiently and seamlessly, including through the use of traveller self-service kiosks and processes. 


The VDS barcode is digitally signed for security, with the signature being based on the same public key cryptographic infrastructure principles already used to support ePassport issuance and authentication by more than 145 countries globally. 

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