Customs welcomes its 10 millionth passenger through SmartGate

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) welcomed its 10 millionth passenger through SmartGate last week. The passenger arrived on Saturday, 7 September 2013.

SmartGate is a self-service system which uses cutting-edge biometric facial recognition technology to allow e-passport holders 16-years and over from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom (UK), to self-process at the border.

SmartGate gives Australia the ability to process increasing numbers of passengers while enhancing border security and deterring the use of forged or stolen passports.

ACBPS National Director Passengers, Jeff Buckpitt, acknowledged the arrival of the 10 millionth passenger as a great achievement for the Service, but noted this was just the beginning.

“We have seen a steady increase in the number of international travellers arriving in Australia. Also, an increasing number of Australians are using e-passports to travel,” Mr Buckpitt said.

“Most Australians currently have e-passports, and by the end of 2015 all Australians will have passports which will allow them to use SmartGate.

“SmartGate will help Customs and Border Protection respond to this rapid growth efficiently and securely without compromising the integrity of our border.”

The ACBPS commenced a trial on Thursday, 25 July 2013 to allow UK passengers arriving in Adelaide and Sydney to use SmartGate, and the trial was extended earlier this week to all eight of the major Australian international airports.

Since the beginning of the trial, more than 11,600 UK passengers have successfully used SmartGate.

Customs and Border Protection Media, <, 18 September 2013