From 1 July 2015, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service will be consolidated into a single Department of Immigration and Border Protection. At this time, the Australian Border Force, a single frontline operational border agency, will be established within the department.
The Australian Border Force will draw together the operational border, investigations, compliance, detention and enforcement functions of the two existing agencies. Policy, regulatory and corporate functions will combine within the broader department.
The name, in itself, marks a distinct shift in world customs operation. Unless I’m mistaken, it’s the first customs and border authority called a ‘force’. The demise of traditional ‘Customs & Excise Departments’ in the wake of 9/11 appears set to continue as sovereign states seek new ways to combat cross-border crime. There is in reality no ‘bench mark’ nowadays. Developing countries tend to favour the revenue authority model (as dictated by their sponsors) – mainly due to the fact that customs revenue remains a critical component of their economies. Developed countries are migrating in ever-increasing number to border agencies with more focus on security issues.
For more information about the changes, read the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection’s speech announcing the new arrangements on 9 May 2014 and the Australian Border Force booklet.
Source: Australian Customs Service