Is the Digital Passenger Declaration compulsory?

There are many claims surfacing on social media leading to misinformation claiming the Digital Passenger Declarations are compulsory.

The Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (Digital Passenger Declaration) Regulations 2021 (the Digital Passenger Declaration Regulations) amend the Customs Regulation 2015 (Customs Regulation) and the Migration Regulations 1994 (Migration Regulations) to facilitate the introduction of a digital passenger declaration (DPD), for use by travellers on a voluntary basis. A traveller who chooses to provide the relevant information in a DPD will be exempt from the requirement to complete a passenger card or crew declaration for the purposes of immigration and customs clearance. The Digital Passenger Declaration Regulations will support the rollout of the DPD, including the initial trial basis, for arrivals into Australia by air, from December 2021.

The DPD offers a voluntary digital alternative to the paper-based passenger card and crew declaration as the primary method of collecting information from incoming travellers for risk assessment by the Department, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and the Department of Health.

The Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (Digital Passenger Declaration) Regulations 2021 (the Digital Passenger Declaration Regulations) amend the Customs Regulation and the Migration Regulations to facilitate the use of the DPD as a voluntary alternative to the incoming passenger card, in situations where, to comply with customs and immigration requirements, the traveller is required to complete a passenger card. The Digital Passenger Declaration Regulations will support the initial rollout of the DPD, initially on a trial basis, from December 2021.

The amendments made by the Digital Passenger Declaration Regulations do not impose any greater or additional restrictions or conditions on the right of persons to enter Australia, including on citizens or others for whom Australia may be their ‘own’ country. The amendments do not require additional information as a condition of entry; but rather provides another mechanism for providing information already required. As noted above, persons who are unable to, or do not wish to, use the DPD to provide the information to facilitate their border clearance are able to use the existing paper passenger card.

 

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