Australia Offers U.S. Visitors Automated Customs

AirportCustoms

Johnny has long touted the U.S. Trusted Traveler program for people who do a lot of international travel. Now Australia has opened its automated border processing system, SmartGate, to U.S. Trusted Travelers. When U.S. Trusted Travelers arrive in Australia, they can bypass the passport processing queues and self-process using an ePassport.

How does it work?
SmartGate uses facial recognition technology and biometric data to perform the customs and immigration checks usually conducted by an Australian Customs and Border Protection officer. You can still choose to talk to an Australian Customs and Border Protection officer if you prefer, but as long as you have a U.S. ePassport, you have the option to use SmartGate.

Can I use SmartGate?
You can use SmartGate provided you are:

  • flying into Australia;
  • 16 years or older; and
  • traveling on a valid U.S. ePassport.

There is no additional enrollment process to participate in SmartGate and it is open to all U.S. citizen Trusted Traveler members enrolled in the Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI programs.

Tips on using SmartGate in Australia
Australian Customs and Border Protection has produced a new fact sheet to help US Trusted Travelers use SmartGate with confidence.The fact sheet is available at: http://www.globalentry.gov/pdfs/FAQs_for_US_Trusted_Travelers.pdf.

For more information on using SmartGate in Australia, visit www.customs.gov.au/smartgate or www.globalentry.gov.

Ben Stagg

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