Australian Government - Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

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

Collection of Personal Information by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) collects and retains personal information in relation to persons and goods entering or exiting Australia. This information is collected under the Customs Act 1901 and other Acts administered by ACBPS. 

ACBPS uses the information to protect the safety, security and commercial interests of Australians through border protection designed to support legitimate trade and travel and ensure collection of border revenue and trade statistics.

Information is collected from a wide variety of sources including other government agencies, non-government agencies and individuals. Information collected includes:

  • Passenger Name Record (PNR) data;

  • Integrated Cargo System (ICS) data;

  • Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) data;

  • SmartGate data;

  • Passenger Analysis Clearance Evaluation (PACE) data;

  • Intelligence data;

  • Investigations records;

  • Detained Goods data;

  • Tariff Concession and classification records;

  • Valuation records;

  • Aircraft and vessel information etc;

  • Infringement Notice Scheme records; and

  • Aviation and Maritime Security Identification card records.

Privacy Collection Notice

The Privacy Act 1988 requires the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to notify an individual of certain matters when collecting personal information about them. This webpage, in addition to other notices on our forms and online facilities, is your notification of those matters.

Purpose of collection

ACBPS collects your personal information for the purpose of the reporting, detection and control of the movement of goods across the Australian border and in administering certain Australian laws including customs, taxation, health, quarantine, commerce, criminal, intellectual property and community protection laws.

ACBPS also collects your personal information for the reporting and collection of government taxation and non-taxation revenue including customs duty, indirect tax, passenger movement charges, depot charges and other charges including quarantine and import processing charges.

ACBPS collects your personal information via forms, online facilities, telephone or face-to-face.

ACBPS uses the information to protect the safety, security and commercial interests of Australians through border protection designed to support legitimate trade and travel and ensure collection of border revenue and trade statistics.

Disclosure of your personal information

ACBPS may disclose your personal information to Commonwealth, State and Territory agencies including, but not limited to, regulatory, taxation, finance, statistics, quarantine, agriculture, trade, foreign affairs, intelligence, law enforcement and infrastructure agencies.  ACBPS may also disclose your personal information to assist with the development of relevant Australian Government policies.

ACBPS may disclose your personal information to foreign entities including overseas manufacturers, exporters, bodies authorised to issue certificates of origin and foreign government agencies.  ACBPS may also disclose your personal information to foreign agencies and international organisations to give effect to Australia’s international agreements.

In addition to the purposes set out above, ACBPS may disclose your information to any of the above entities for an enforcement-related activity or to lessen or prevent a serious threat to life, health or safety.

Basis for collection

In some cases, you are required under the Customs Act 1901, or related legislation to provide your personal information to enable ACBPS to fulfil its enforcement and administrative functions. ACBPS collects your personal information for a wide range of border-related activities including:

  • The detection and movement of goods and persons across the Australian border.
  • The collection of taxation and non-taxation revenue
  • The collection of border-related statistics
  • The administration or enforcement of an Australian law and
  • The administration of an ancillary or regulatory function or activity of ACBPS.

ACBPS administers legislation and parts of legislation on behalf of several Commonwealth agencies. In certain cases, the collection of your personal information may be required or authorised by this allied legislation.

If you do not provide your personal information, ACBPS may be unable to provide you a service that requires your personal information to complete the interaction. In some instances ACBPS has the power to request your personal information. If you do not provide your personal information in these circumstances, you may be committing an offence under the Customs Act 1901 or a related law.

Further information

Your personal information will be collected, used, stored and disclosed in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles in Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act 1988. Further information regarding how ACBPS handles personal information, including access and correction to your personal information can be found in ACBP's privacy policy below or by contacting ACBPS's Privacy Contact Officer on 1300 363 263 or by emailing privacy@customs.gov.au.

ACBPS also collects personal information relating to its officers and other perspective employees and Contractors to the Service (personnel records).

A comprehensive list of the classes of personal information that is collected and held by ACBPS is available in ACBPS’s Privacy Policy.

ACBPS is committed to protecting the privacy and security of all personal information collected. When dealing with personal information ACBPS:

  • collects the information in a fair and lawful manner;

  • checks the accuracy of the information before it is used;

  • keeps it stored securely to safeguard against unauthorised access;

  • ensures it is used only for the purpose for which it was collected (unless it is otherwise authorised by law) and;

  • ensures the information is not disclosed other than in the course of performing ACBPS duties or where disclosure is authorised or required by section 16 of the Customs Administration Act 1985 (Customs Administration Act) or another law.

ACBPS ensures all personal information obtained is collected, used, stored and disclosed in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) and the Guidelines for Federal Government issued by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (available at http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/applying-privacy-law/app-guidelines/).  

ACBPS may disclose information it obtains to agencies authorised by law to receive it including other Australian, State and Territory Government agencies as well as overseas agencies, including law enforcement agencies and other Customs administrations.  All information disclosed by ACBPS is done in accordance with section 16 of the Customs Administration Act and the Privacy Act.

ACBPS Privacy Policy

Further information regarding ACBPS’s handling of personal information and how the Service meets its obligations under the Australian Privacy Principles within the Privacy Act is set out in ACBPS’s Privacy Policy.

Should you wish to obtain a copy of ACBPS’s Privacy Policy in an alternative format, please contact ACBPS’s Privacy Contact Officer at privacy@customs.gov.au.