This article was kindly contributed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
The new Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) was unveiled on 1 July 2015, signalling a major change in the way Australia’s borders are managed.
The integration sees the Australian Customs and Border Protection Services (ACBPS) cease and the Australia Border Force stand up as the operational and enforcement arm of the Department. The Department is building on a proud combined history of delivering secure and efficient travel, trade and migration as Australia’s trusted gateway, supported by the experience and professionalism of officers and staff.
All of the non-operational functions including policy and programme management, and corporate and enabling functions are now managed in the Department’s relevant corporate areas. The Australian Border Force is delivering the operational customs, immigration, border facilitation and control functions as part of the new department.
Bringing the two organisations together is improving border security and deliver more convenient, cost-effective and nationally consistent services for the benefit of clients, partners and industry. This will be achieved by consolidating complementary functions, enhancing operational capabilities and investing in leading technology and forward-thinking initiatives.
It also is also helping meet future challenges at the border, including managing an increasing volume of international freight and trade. In the 2013–14 financial year, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service inspected more than 100,000 twenty foot equivalent units in sea cargo at Australia’s 64 sea ports, with sea cargo reports set to increase by up to 19 per cent over the next four years.
The Department is committed to finding new and more efficient ways to meet the demands of the growing cargo industry, while protecting the community from the import of dangerous and illegal goods.
Collaboration and consultation with industry remains the top priority for the new Department. We will continue to work in partnership with industry to create seamless and secure trade, through initiatives like the Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) Programme.
The ATT programme will increase the security and certainty of Australian trade, offering trade facilitation incentives to businesses that demonstrate secure and compliant supply chain practices – including brokers, freight, warehouse operators, ports, logistics providers, and traders.
This not only helps build resilience against organised crime groups and terrorism, but also fosters active partnerships with industry, and encourages economic growth through tailored trade benefits.
Benefits being pursued for accredited Australian Trusted Traders include expedited border clearance, reduced or priority inspections, priority access to trade services, and a dedicated account
manager. Mechanisms for the delivery of other benefits, including duty deferral and streamlined reporting arrangements are also being explored.
ATT will secure a greater proportion of Australia’s international trade to an internationally recognised standard – leaving the Department to focus greater attention on the remaining unknown or higher risk cargo.
Not only will the ATT secure international supply chains and increase the Department’s effectiveness, but it will also boost the international competitiveness and prosperity of Australia, and encourage trade.
ATT is a voluntary partnership between industry and the Department, open to all businesses big and small. Industry has been invaluable throughout the design and development of the programme. Before ATT becomes fully operational, a 12 month pilot phase will test our processes to maximise effectiveness. The pilot phase has commemced and will initially focus on four export companies in Melbourne, before expanding to also include importers and air cargo nationally.
More information on ATT can be found at www.border.gov.au/trustedtrader
ATT is just one example of what the Department hopes to achieve through innovative co-design of future border solutions—and one of the exciting changes taking place.
The Department has also launched its new brand and website, www.border.gov.au and is encouraging stakeholders to update their website links and bookmarks to the new website. Existing applications, including the Integrated Cargo System (ICS), will continue to be accessible exactly as they were before.
Email addresses have also changed from @immi.gov.au or @customs.gov.au to @border.gov.au