Australia Phasing Out Departure Cards

Overseas travellers will no longer need to fill out those pesky green cards when departing from Australia. From 1 July, Australia’s “outgoing passenger cards” will finally be phased out.

Travellers are pleasantly surprised with the news. These forms have been an annoyance – albeit a minor one – to many of our members.

Good, now I’ll only have to remind them of my occupation 12 times a year instead of 24.

And to think the last time I left the country I made sure to grab a stack to pre-fill at home for the next time I departed. Oh well…

The outgoing passenger cards have not been manually collected at most Australian airports for some time. Instead, large Perspex boxes have been placed in the departure areas of international airports for the cards to be dropped into. But at present there are no checks in place to make sure each passenger has correctly completed and lodged their form.

The data contained in these cards is used for a variety of purposes, including the collection of statistics. For example, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) uses passenger data to calculate the number of tourists visiting Australia and to estimate Australia’s population. Passenger data is also used by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to compile statistics about international airline activity.

Most of the information contained in these cards will now be shared directly between airlines and the government via the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS).

The “incoming passenger cards” – those yellow forms that travellers arriving in Australia are required to complete – will remain in place for now. It is likely that these forms will too be phased out eventually. But as these cards combine as customs & quarantine declarations, they still serve an important function.

The Incoming Passenger Card will still be in place for a few years yet, until they can work out how to collect the information via alternate sources/methods.

Will you miss those green departure cards? Join the discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]