The Australian Border Force (ABF) has introduced additional obligations for customs depot and warehouse licence holders, effective from 1 November 2022. Examples of licence holders include duty free shops, provedores, catering bonds, and off-airport cargo terminal operators.
According to the ABF’s notice, the additional obligations were introduced to strengthen controls in the supply chain, expand the fit and proper regime, and align compliance controls for licence holders.
In this article we provide an overview of the conditions relating to fit and proper persons and advise how National Crime Check can help licensees meet their obligations under the regime.
Conditions relating to fit and proper persons
The new ABF conditions state that any person deemed not fit and proper by the Comptroller-General of Customs should be restricted from participating in the operations of a licensed place, i.e. customs depots and warehouses.
When considering whether a person is deemed fit and proper, the Comptroller-General may take into account:
- whether the person has been convicted of an offence in Australia or any other country
- whether the person has been refused a transport security identification card or has had their card suspended or cancelled
- if the person is not an Australian citizen, whether the person has breached any condition of their visa to reside in Australia, and
- whether the person is an unlawful non-citizen.
License holders have a duty to advise the Comptroller-General within 24 hours if they discover that a person participating in operations falls into any of the above categories.
Document requirements – identity verification, police checks and right to work checks
People who participate in the operations of a licensed place will now need to complete and submit a ‘Consent Form – Fit and Proper Checks’ to the licence holder. They will also need to submit a legible copy of their identification documents in the English language (or accompanied by English translation if in a foreign language). These identification documents must meet the proof of identity requirements outlined in the ABF’s Form 1538i ‘Proof of Identity Requirements’ (Identification Documents).
Licence holders will have 90 days to obtain this form and identification documents from existing persons involved in operations, and they will have seven days for any new person commencing in operations.
The conditions require licence holders to retain a legible copy of the form and identification documents for no less than five years from the date that they were submitted. They may also be required to submit these documents to the Comptroller-General upon request.
The licence holder may be additionally instructed by the Comptroller-General to obtain a National Police Check and Right to Work Check for any person involved in operations.
These checks can be obtained directly from the police (for National Police Checks), the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system (for Right to Work checks), or through an accredited agency that provides these checks. Licence holders are expected to provide the results of these checks to the Comptroller-General within 14 days.
Any persons who (a) do not complete the form, (b) provide their identification documents, (c) provide the necessary information for a National Police Check or Right to Work Check, or (d) withdraw their consent for these documents to be used/submitted, should not be allowed to participate in any operations of the licensed place.
National Crime Check is here to help
National Crime Check can help customs depot and warehouse licence holders meet their obligations under the new regulations. We are accredited by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) to deliver efficient, online National Police Checks and we conduct accurate Right to Work Checks through the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system.
Licensees can therefore save time and money by leveraging our expertise in conducting the required checks. We deliver our services with an industry-leading turnaround time, which enables licensees to meet their obligations within the timeframes prescribed by the new regulations.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how National Crime Check can help your business meet its compliance obligations.