Australian Government - Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

To protect Australia's borders and foster lawful trade and travel.


Border Protection Command

Border Protection Command (BPC) is Australia’s lead maritime law enforcement agency. It brings together officers from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as a joint multi-agency taskforce to identify and respond to illegal activity in Australia’s Maritime Jurisdiction (AMJ).

What is the role of Border Protection Command?

Border Protection Command is responsible for coordinating and controlling operations to protect Australia's national interests against the following maritime security threats:

  • illegal exploitation of natural resources;
  • illegal activity in protected areas;
  • illegal maritime arrivals;
  • prohibited imports and exports;
  • maritime terrorism;
  • piracy, robbery or violence at sea;
  • compromise to biosecurity; and
  • marine pollution.

BPC has authority to enforce the Maritime Powers Act. Border Protection Command is not a search and rescue organisation, but its assets may respond to emergencies at sea in accordance with international obligations.

BPC has its origins in the Customs Coastwatch Division. The Joint Offshore Protection Command was established in 2005 as a joint ACBPS/ADF activity. It was renamed BPC in October 2006.

Who does Border Protection Command work with?

BPC works with officers from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the Department of Agriculture, and other federal, state and territory agencies to manage Australia's maritime security.

What is the Australian Maritime Jurisdiction?

The AMJ includes the areas established under international law, including Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone, Contiguous Zone and Territorial Sea, the areas within the Australian Search and Rescue Region (managed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority) and to the areas of the open ocean identified by the Security Forces Authority Area.