Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, announced to the Lowy Institute on Friday 9th May, the formation of the Australian Border Force (ABF). Effective 1st July 2015, a new agency will be established under the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, to take over the work of Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, which will enforce all customs and immigration laws.
Key points from the announcement are outlined here:
- Under the Abbott Government, immigration and customs have been combined into a single Cabinet portfolio that has permanent status on the National Security Committee of Cabinet, with a strong focus on law enforcement
- Australia will have a department of state that is now truly focused on border policy and strategy in an integrated and holistic way, rather than in the traditional silos of immigration and customs
- Australia is in the middle of a significant period of global trade growth
- The volume of passenger movements and commercial transactions completed across borders is increasing exponentially, as is the complexity of these interactions and systems
- The Coalition Government recently concluded two significant free trade agreements with Japan and Korea, of tremendous importance to our nation and the region, and is actively working on another with China.
- The Abbot government have integrated immigration and customs into a single portfolio
- In 2014/15 a series of reforms will be implemented and capability improvements to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. On July 1, 2015 the Coalition Government will establish the Australian Border Force (ABF), a single frontline operational border agency, to enforce our customs and immigration laws
- The measures to support the new agency will also result in improved revenue outcomes for the government. Our customs officers are the second largest revenue collectors in the Commonwealth.
- Reforms will be completed in line with those completed by UK and US border control administrations
- A system to allow digital processing of forms will be implemented, further reducing paperwork and red–tape burden on business