Hooray! That annoying Outgoing Passenger Card (OPC) every Aussie needs to fill in leaving the country is getting the chop.
Yep, as of 1 July 2017, passengers leaving Australia will no longer need to complete an OPC.
Retirement of the paper-based passenger card is part of a move by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection towards a more efficient and streamlined process for passengers.
Travel agents or operators should not include the green OPC with travel documents for people who will be departing Australia on or after 1 July 2017, and airline staff should stop providing the green OPC to passengers from 1 July 2017. Any remaining OPC stock can be recycled.
Arriving passengers must still complete the orange incoming passenger card (IPC).
The IPC has been updated to include an additional question, and will need to be distributed to people travelling on or after 1 July 2017.
The information previously gathered via paper-based outgoing passenger cards will now be collated from existing government data and will continue to be provided to users.
The Department is currently reviewing use of the Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) and options for removal. This work is expected to take several years.
It comes on the same day as the duty free tobacco allowance changes.
From 1 July 2017, the duty free allowance for all travellers bringing tobacco products into Australia will be reduced from 50 grams to 25 grams of tobacco, as well as one open packet. The new allowance includes tobacco in any form (cigarette, loose leaf, etc). Travellers with more than this amount will be required to pay duty on all tobacco in their possession, unless they agree to dispose of the excess.
Duty free store operators are asked to ensure all necessary steps are taken to communicate this message to customers and update cigarette packaging and store signage. Please also update any relevant messaging on your website to reflect the change.
Airlines and cruise operators are also asked to update relevant duty free messaging on their websites and update packaging and signage where necessary.