Australia’s Digital Passenger Declaration To Be In Operation By December

Australia’s Digital Passenger Declaration To Be In Operation By December

As Australia looks to open its borders to international travel, the federal government is preparing its Digital Passenger Declaration platform for December go-live.

This article has been updated with current information since it was first published.

The Digital Passenger Declaration is basically a digital version of that much-loved incoming passenger card which is now filed away in the nostalgia section of our minds. It will also replace the COVID-19 Australian Travel Declaration web form.

Passengers entering Australia will need to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration 72 hours prior to getting on a plane. Yes, vaccination status is being captured, but it already was.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews has been touting the digitally-verified vaccination status as the first step in opening Australia back up to the world. The Digital Passenger Declaration will also provide the capacity to collect, verify, and share any Australian government-approved and digitally-verified travel, health, and vaccine status info to state and territory health authorities.

The government has grand plans for the platform now being built by consultancy giant Accenture. The platform is known as the Permissions Capability Platform, with the first use case the Digital Passenger Declaration. It wants to re-use the tech as much as it can, such as for visas, import permits, personnel identity cards, licenses, and registrations.

“Making previously cumbersome processes easier, safer, and more transparent,” the government said in September.

The government announced plans for the silver bullet platform while scrapping its $92 million troubled visa processing system last year.

During Senate Estimates on Monday night, Home Affairs boss Mike Pezzullo said the Digital Passenger Declaration will be delivered in December 2021. In the first instance it will incorporate the Australian travel declaration and will start with a pilot of digitising the existing incoming passenger card.

At initial go-live, it will also verify the recently launched international COVID vaccination certificate.