Last reviewed 6 September 2021

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has commended the European Commission for its leadership and speed in delivering the EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) and urged states to make it their global standard for digital vaccine certificates.

Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Deputy Director General, said: “The DCC was delivered in record time to help facilitate the reopening of EU states to travel. In the absence of a single global standard for digital vaccine certificates, it should serve as a blueprint for other nations looking to implement digital vaccination certificates to help facilitate travel and its associated economic benefits.”

He emphasised that the DCC meets several key criteria which have been identified as important if a digital vaccination certificate is to be effective. These are:

  • it has the flexibility to be used in both paper and digital format

  • the DCC QR code, which can be included in both digital and paper format, contains essential information as well as a digital signature to make sure the certificate is authentic

  • the European Commission has built a gateway through which the encrypted data used to sign DCCs and required to authenticate certificate signatures can be distributed across the EU.

The gateway can be also used to distribute encrypted data of non-EU certificate issuers and includes a specification for machine readable Validation Rules for cross-country travel.

As well as being implemented in the 27 EU Member States, the DCC is included in a number of reciprocal agreements with other countries’ own vaccination certificates, including Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.

In the absence of a single global standard for digital vaccination certificates, up to 60 other countries are looking to use the DCC specification for their own certification.

Describing it as an excellent model that is consistent with the latest World Health Organization Guidance, IATA pointed out that the EU DCC also enables holders to access non-aviation sites in Europe that require proof of vaccination, such as museums, sporting events and concerts.