Passengers departing Australia may soon have one less thing to do at the airport, as the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) announce they plan to phase out departure cards.
The green paper-based ‘outgoing passenger cards’ are just one process to be chopped under plans to streamline Australian border processing. The similar orange ‘incoming passenger cards’ completed by passengers entering Australia will also be phased out.
The plans will make departing and entering Australia smoother for passengers, without compromising on information, as most of the information recorded on the cards is already accessible electronically by government agencies.
It is not yet known how passengers would declare certain information and goods, such as prohibited or restricted items with the absence of the cards. Possible alternatives could include declaring verbally with border security officers, electronically at SmartGate kiosks, or online prior to travel.
The DIBP plans to remove all paper-based passenger cards in order to achieve a more automated traveller experience, paper-free and hassle-free. With more than 50 million travellers expected to visit Australia by 2020, this improved process should help ease stress on border security, and cut processing time in airports.
No date has yet been set for when the cards may be phased out.