Australian Border Force
|Australian Border Force|
Patch of Australian Border Force
|Formed||July 1, 2015|
|Annual budget||$116 Million (2016)|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Headquarters||Belconnen ACT 2617|
|Elected officer responsible||Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection|
|Agency executive||Roman Quaedvlieg, Commissioner|
|Parent agency||Department of Immigration and Border Protection|
|Child agency||Australian Customs Service|
|Australian Border Force Act 2015|
|Parliament of Australia|
|An Act relating to the Australian Border Force, the Australian Border Force Commissioner and persons performing work for the Department, and for related purposes.|
|Citation||Australian Border Force Act 2015 (Cth)|
|Enacted by||Australian House of Representatives|
|Date passed||25 Mar 2015|
|Enacted by||Australian Senate|
|Date passed||14 May 2015|
|Date of Royal Assent||20 May 2015|
|Date commenced||1 July 2015|
|Bill introduced in the Australian House of Representatives||Australian Border Force Bill 2015|
|Bill citation||Australian Border Force Bill 2015 (Cth)|
|Introduced by||The Hon. Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection|
|First reading||25 Feb 2015|
|Second reading||25 Mar 2015|
|Third reading||25 Mar 2015|
|Bill introduced in the Australian Senate||Australian Border Force Bill 2015|
|First reading||25 Mar 2015|
|Second reading||14 May 2015|
|Third reading||14 May 2015|
|Status: In force|
The Australian Border Force (abbreviated to ABF) is the Australian government agency tasked with border protection and national security duties. This agency was established on 1 July 2015 after the merger of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and some parts of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). Some ABF officers are equipped with firearms and wear a different uniform.
It was announced on 9 May 2014 by the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison MP.
"The Australian Border Force draws 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 ABF is the operational arm of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Its mission is to protect Australia's border and manage the movement of people and goods across it. The ABF contributes to three national outcomes including strong national security, a strong economy and a prosperous and cohesive society. To achieve its mission the ABF structures itself into two Groups - the Operations Group and the Support Group.
The Operations Group has responsibilities for all operational activity relating to the management of travellers, goods and cargo throughout the border continuum. The Operations Group houses the enforcement functions of the ABF, including:
- Facilitating the lawful passage of people and goods
- Investigations, compliance and enforcement in relation to prohibited goods and immigration malpractice; and
- Onshore detention, removals and support to regional processing arrangements.
The Support Group has responsibility for providing planning, support and specialist services to ensure operational continuity across the border continuum and the operational management responsibility for detention services management including health, detention estate management, and regional processing and settlement.
Ranks and insignia
The Australian Border Force has its own rank structure. Uniformed Australian Border Force officers have their rank displayed on their shoulder epaulettes, attached to shirts, jumpers or jacket. The rank and epaulette styling is in line with many other border agencies and shares close similarities with its United Kingdom counterpart, the UK Border Force.
The ABF rank insignia's have four components placed against an ink navy coloured field:
- Commonwealth Imperial Crown of St. Edward
- Star of the Order of the Bath
- Porticullis encompassed by a gold laurel wreath
- Gold bar/s
|ABF Front line Officer ranks and insignia
(commonly seen at Airports, Seaports, Border Patrol, Enforcement & Maritime Ops, Air Cargo, Container Examination Facility, Postal Exams, Detector Dog Unit.)
|Rank||Assistant Border Force Officer (level 1)||Assistant Border Force Officer (level 2)||Border Force Officer||Leading Border Force Officer||Senior Border Force Officer||Border Force Supervisor|
|Australian Public Service (APS) level||APS 1||APS 2||APS 3||APS 4||APS 5||APS 6|
|ABF Executive level ranks and insignia|
|Rank||Border Force Inspector||Border Force Superintendent||Commander
of the ABF
of the ABF
|Commissioner of the ABF|
|Australian Public Service (APS) level||EL 1||EL 2||SES 1||SES 2||SES 3||Department Head/CEO|
Prior to the standing up of the Australian Border Force, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service had Officers in certain operational instances where they were armed with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These Officers were generally those that worked in Enforcement Operations, Investigations, and the Marine Unit. Since the 1st July 2015, with the creation of the Australian Border Force came a change direction and environment. The ABF has geared itself more to a law enforcement aspect to help adapt itself with the increasing threat of terrorism, on both a global and local standpoint, people smuggling, and highly organised criminal syndicates and organisations. As a result, the ABF has begun to arm trained officers to carry firearms and PPE at all major Australian international airports.
Other areas of the ABF use other firearms. One such unit is the Marine Unit, a de facto Coast Guard which operates alongside with the Australian Defence Force under the Border Protection Command. With this partnership ABF Officers are equipped with the same rifles that are currently in service with the Australian Defence Force, that being a F88 Austeyr, a modified Steyr AUG A1.
Passenger Profiling & Watchlists
The Australian Border Force uses a "big data" analysis ecosystem to monitor people & cargo entering and leaving Australia. This includes the use of machine learning capabilities across a range of analytical platforms that draw together multiple data sources to provide insights.
The Central Movement Alert List (CMAL) is an electronic watch list, containing information about individuals who pose either an immigration or national security concern to the Australian Government as well as information on lost, stolen or fraudulent travel documents. CMAL comprises two databases, the Person Alert List (PAL) and the Document Alert List (DAL). The PAL database stores the biographical details of identities of concern and DAL is a list of lost, fraudulent or stolen travel documents. PAL records are categorised according to the reason for listing the identity—the alert reason code (ARC). There are 19 ARCs with each being categorised as high, medium or low risk.
Australian Members of Parliament have expressed concerns about the lack of systematic control over data input and maintenance of the Alert List, stating that Australian citizens and visitors may suffer inconvenience or harassment due to misinformation or incorrect information being entered into the system.
The Australian Border Force receives PNR data from airlines operating into and out of Australia. PNR data is information about passengers that is held by airlines on their computer reservation system. PNR data includes approximately 106 different fields such as passenger name(s), sex, passport number, nationality, travel companions, frequent flyer Information, date and place of ticket issue, contact phone numbers, credit card number and expiry date, number of bags, seat allocation, and the passenger's full itinerary.
- The UK equivalent organisation, Border Force.
- The Russian equivalent organisation, Border Service of Russia.
- The Indian equivalent organisation, Border Security Force.
- The US equivalent organisations, U.S Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
- The Canadian equivalent organisation, Canada Border Services Agency.
- The Chinese equivalent organisation, Ministry of Public Security.
- The Pakistani equivalent organisation, Pakistan Rangers.
- The Bangladeshi equivalent organisation, Border Guards Bangladesh.
- Bourke, Latika (9 May 2014). "Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announces new Australian Border Force". ABC News. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
- "Australian Border Force: Who we are". Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 May 2016. This article contains quotations from this source, which is available under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence.
- House of Representatives Committee Audit Report 35 2008-2009.
- Australian Government Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Passenger Name Records: Administrative Arrangements. 2015.