Australian Border Force

On 1 July 2015, the functions of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service were integrated into a new Department. The Australian Border was established as the new front-line operational agency within the Department reflecting a greater focus on the border as a strategic national asset. The integrated arrangements build on recent border protection reforms and the long history of the two organisations working closely together.

Australian Border Force

Australian Border Force

The Australian Border Force brought together all existing operational border, investigations, compliance, detention (facilities and centres) and enforcement functions. Policy, regulatory and corporate support for the Australian Border Force are delivered by the Department.
We have significant service and enforcement functions, including:

- facilitating the lawful passage of people and goods
- investigations, compliance and enforcement in relation to illicit goods and immigration malpractice; and
- onshore detention, removals and support to regional processing arrangements

We consider the border not to be a purely physical barrier separating nation states, but a complex continuum stretching offshore and onshore, including the overseas, maritime, physical border and domestic dimensions of the border.

Treating the border as a continuum allows an integrated, layered approach to provide border management in depth— working ahead of and behind the border, as well as at the border, to manage threats and take advantage of opportunities.
By applying an intelligence-led model and working with our partner agencies across the border continuum, we deliver effective border control over who and what has the right to enter or exit, and under what conditions.

Officers in the Australian Border Force are operationally focused, uniformed and part of a disciplined enforcement body undertaking functions across our operating environment – patrolling our air and seaports, remote locations, mail and cargo centres and Australia's extended maritime jurisdiction.
We work closely with other government and international agencies to detect and deter unlawful movement of goods and people across the border.

The integration of our complementary customs, immigration and border protection functions and capabilities provides more diverse and interesting jobs and careers for our people. They will be supported by better training, modernised business processes and systems, an increased sense of professionalism and a strengthened culture of integrity.

The combination of enforcement resources from both immigration and customs will enable us to boost our capacity over time and maintain investment in key capital infrastructure that supports the protection of Australia’s border.
The full implementation of the Australian Border Force vision, model and workforce transformation will take time and arrangements will be progressively implemented.

The ABF structure comprises two Groups – the Operations Group and the Support Group.

The Operations Group has responsibility for all operational activity relating to the management of travellers, goods and cargo throughout the border continuum.

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.

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