The European Parliament on Wednesday agreed that children under the age of 12 should no longer have their fingerprints included on their passports issued in the European Union (EU).
Amendments have to be made to a regulation on biometric passports after pilot projects in some member states showed that children's fingerprints can change greatly as they grow older.
A similar exemption was agreed for people deemed physically unable to give fingerprints.
It was agreed that fingerprints should not be taken from children under the age of 12. However, countries already taking fingerprints from children under that age, but not below six, can continue to do so for four years.
In cases where it is impossible to take fingerprints, EU member states may deliver a temporary passport having a validity of 12 months or less.
Biometric passports will be introduced in the whole EU plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland on June 29, 2009.