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BLS International upholds high standards of compliance and responsiveness in Estonia e-residency program amidst operational shift

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As the Estonian government shifts its focus away from private sector partnerships for document issuance, BLS International continues to uphold the highest service standards. They remain committed to excellence and constant improvement in all operational areas.

NEW DELHI – BLS International Services Limited, a globally recognized leader in providing administrative and consular services, has played a pivotal role in the successful implementation of Estonia‘s e-residency digital identity card program since April 2021. As per the figures shared by Kaarel Kallas spokesperson of Police and Border Guard, Estonia “Over the course of two years, approximately 1,300 e-resident digital identity cards have been issued through BLS”. Throughout this partnership, BLS International has effectively facilitated the issuance of e-resident digital identity cards in five major cities worldwide, significantly enhancing the global reach of Estonian digital services.

The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has consistently monitored and verified BLS International’s adherence to the stringent process requirements of their contract, showcasing the high standards maintained in the issuance of these essential identity documents. PPA e-residency expert Anita Sokolova explained that the digital identity card issued to e-residents is an identity document, and in order for us to be able to ensure its reliability, it is our responsibility to ensure that the entire process of issuing the document is also reliable.

A recent procedural oversight at both the Bangkok and Tokyo issuance points, where documents were issued by unauthorized individuals, was swiftly and comprehensively addressed by BLS International. This response included thorough internal reviews and corrective measures, ensuring that such incidents are prevented in the future. It’s important to note that, despite these oversights, the checks conducted confirmed that the documents were issued to the correct individuals, thereby maintaining the integrity of the e-residency program. As per the statement issued by Police and Boarder Guard, Estonia, “BLS has in turn initiated disciplinary proceedings against the employees involved in the violation”.

Following this incident, the PPA has decided to centralize the issuance of e-resident digital identity cards to Estonian foreign missions, cancelling the contract with BLS International. This decision reflects a strategic shift in the program’s operational approach. “At the moment, we are not planning to look for a new contract partner from the private sector,” clarified Sokolova. BLS International has been dedicated to supporting the Estonian authorities in ensuring a seamless transition for e-residents.

The PPA has confirmed the validity of all previously issued documents, underscoring the effectiveness and reliability of the systems put in place by BLS International.  As per PPA spokesperson, “PPA has checked that the documents have been issued to the right people, so the documents issued so far are still valid.”  This affirmation highlights the success of the partnership in achieving its objectives despite the challenges.

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