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Government to dump outgoing passenger cards

Friday, 30 June 2017
By Jake Nelson

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will no longer use printed ‘outgoing passenger cards’ at Australia’s ports from Saturday July 1.

Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

The green cards required travellers leaving Australia to provide information including passport number, flight number, destination, date of birth, occupation, nationality, and customs declaration. This information will now be collated from existing government data, a process which Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, said would improve the experience for travellers, as well as strengthen border security and cut red tape. “The automated process will add to existing state-of-the art passenger processing technology at our border and will help reduce queuing times and get travellers to their destination more quickly.

“Removal of the outgoing passenger card further supports the move towards a more seamless, secure and simplified border clearance process,” Dutton said.

DIBP has cited an increase in passenger numbers as a reason for the move, saying Border Force processed more than 40 million international travellers across the border in 2015-16, a number projected to rise to 50 million by 2020. The removal of the outgoing passenger card is critical to ensuring the continued smooth passage of increasing traveller numbers departing Australia, the department said in a press release.

In addition, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that passengers frequently fail to put these cards in the drop boxes provided, with more than 230,000 outgoing passenger cards going missing in March this year.

The $6 million contract for printing passenger cards is held by Canberra’s CanPrint Communications, a subsidiary of Opus Group. CanPrint staff were unavailable for comment.

The completion of incoming passenger cards will still be required for all travellers entering Australia.

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