Who we are

Border Force Boat

Our intent

Our vision: We are Australia's trusted global gateway

Our mission: To protect Australia's border and manage the movement of people and goods across it

Our outcomes: We contribute to achieving three national outcomes:

  • strong national security
  • a strong economy
  • a prosperous and cohesive society

About the Australian Border Force (ABF)

The Australian Border Force is an operationally independent body under the Home Affairs Portfolio.

The Australian Border Force is responsible for operational border, investigations, compliance, detention (facilities and centres) and enforcement functions, and continues to be Australia's customs service. 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 Australian Border Force is headed by a statutory officer – a Commissioner – reporting directly to the Minister for Home Affairs on operational matters, responsible for managing these operations and commanding officers.

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.