An international treaty aimed at preventing terrorists from infiltrating shipping crews will enter into force in February 2005, the International Labor Organization
The pact, Reuters reported, is aimed at eventually requiring the world's 1.2 million seafarers to carry new identity cards. It will first apply to shipping crews from France
, the first two countries to ratify it, the United Nations agency said.
"The new identity document for seafarers allows for the use of a 'biometric template' to turn two fingerprints of a seafarer into an internationally standardized two-dimensional bar code on the seafarer's document," ILO said in a statement. "In addition to France and Jordan, several countries are also taking steps toward ratification of the new instrument," the ILO added.