The Australian Border Force (ABF) has concluded several days of strategic talks with Indonesian counterparts, discussing issues of trade enforcement and border protection.
While the media has been focusing on the set-back of the Australia-Indonesia free trade deal – which has been put on hold while Australia considers moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem - the Australian Border Force (ABF) has been pushing ahead with strategic talks with their Indonesian counterparts.
Last week the ABF Commissioner Outram signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs and ABF with the National Anti-Narcotics Agency of the Republic of Indonesia (Badan Narkotika Nasional - BNN). The MOU will allow further cooperation between the ABF and BNN in the fight against illicit trafficking of border controlled drugs, plants and precursors.
Commissioner Outram also met with Mr Heru Pambudi, Director General of Customs and Excise (DGCE) to discuss cooperation between the two agencies for the year ahead. He reaffirmed that international cooperation is a vital part of the ABF’s strategy to keep Australia safe and prosperous. “Trade enforcement and border protection are operational priorities for the ABF and are challenges also faced by our regional counterparts, including Indonesia. Working with them, rather than in isolation, gives us a much better advantage in combatting these issued,” Commissioner Outram said. “Targeting the movement of illicit drugs in particular requires a regional and even global approach. The more work we can do with our partners offshore to detect and disrupt this activity, the better positioned we are to prevent these substances reaching the Australian community.”
As part of the visit, Commissioner Outram also toured the BNN Detect Dog facility in West Java. The centre opened in February 2018 and aspects of it were modelled on the ABFs world-class breeding and training facility in Victoria. “Our Detector Dog Program has a rich history and we really are a world leader in this respect. It’s great to see our regional partners embracing this capability to further bolster their border security and we’re pleased to support them in that,” Commissioner Outram said. During talks with BNN the ABF committed to provide them five ABF Detector Dogs.