Long queues for Norwegian passports and ID cards due to production issues
A global shortage of raw materials due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine has led to delays in passports and ID cards in Norway being sent out, the Norwegian Police Directorate said Tuesday.
Production issues and high demand have meant that residents in Norway face long waiting times for passports and ID cards.
“The situation is serious, and we have worked to increase the capacity of the passport offices in the police districts to meet the wave of applicants. But now we must see what room for manoeuvre we have and what measures are possible to implement,” Bjørn Vandvik in the Police Directorate said in a statement.
“I have full sympathy with those who now may have to wait longer to get their passport or ID card,” Vandvik added.
The firm responsible for producing the ID cards and passports, Thales, was summoned by the Justice Minister, Emilie Enger Mehl, to answer why residents face such long waiting times for a passport and what can be done to remedy the situation.
“The government believes it is unacceptable if many Norwegians are left without the opportunity to identify themselves with a passport or ID card for a long time and expects Thales to implement measures as soon as possible,” Mehl said in a statement.
According to the ministry, the firm was unable to provide an answer on how it would solve the challenges. Still, the company has said it is in dialogue with the police directorate on how this challenge will be handled in the future.
Earlier this year, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported that around 300,000 to 400,000 residents are currently without a valid passport.
The government has said that it is looking into the possibility of reopening passports offices closed under the previous government to try and ease the backlog.