Outgoing passenger departure cards will be axed from July 1st

Outgoing passenger departure cards will be axed from July 1st

EXCLUSIVE | Those bothersome and largely redundant Outgoing Passenger Cards are finally being binned for good, with international travellers no longer required to fill out the green forms from July 1, 2017.

This means there’ll be one less bit of paperwork standing between you and your flight – or even better, your airport lounge.

A spokesperson for the Federal Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection said “removing paper-based manual processes is integral to achieving a seamless and automated traveller experience”.

Core data such as passenger names, flight numbers and destination, passport details and contact information is already available through the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) operated by all airlines.

Travel agents, airport and airline staff are being advised of the July 1 cut-off date.

Completing the orange incoming passenger card on arrival into Australia will still be required, although it's understood that a revised version of the orange card will be issued from July 1 ahead of a  likely phase-out in 2018.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • DBPZ


    20 Jun, 2017 11:46 am

    At Melbourne, many people have been ignoring the collection box since the automatic scanning gates were introduced. 
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  • Serg


    20 Jun, 2017 07:43 pm

    Exactly - I never understand why they collecting that garbage if not 100% of people filling them.
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  • jrfsp


    20 Jun, 2017 11:48 am

    Yes, I myself haven't done them for ages, most people don't even realise they have to drop them in the collection box
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  • Victor Teng


    20 Jun, 2017 11:58 am

    Hallelujah! Good riddance!
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  • Angus  Coventry


    20 Jun, 2017 12:10 pm

    good riddance. 
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  • henrus


    20 Jun, 2017 12:32 pm

    Bummer my next international flight is on the 29th...

    As for the comments saying that people haven't been dropping them in the box, well thats been happening at every Australian airport. In Brisbane someone at the Qantas lounge checkin asked the staff what to do with the card and they said don't worry about it.
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  • clarkysdonga


    20 Jun, 2017 01:14 pm

    About time. And the orange ones should also go too
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  • Himeno


    20 Jun, 2017 01:32 pm

    My next outbound is June 30th. I wonder if QF will still bother giving the green cards out on the last day.

    Inbound arrival July 6th.
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  • henrus


    20 Jun, 2017 02:05 pm

    They should be and you could also collect some as a memento to remind you of the many years of annoying green cards...
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  • Charles


    20 Jun, 2017 01:47 pm

    Makes sense, and save a few trees as well
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  • eminere


    20 Jun, 2017 04:32 pm

    Best news I've had all day.
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  • pan129953


    20 Jun, 2017 05:12 pm

    Why do we even need to go through immigration when departing Australia.  In the USA there is not migration check on departure and they are most security conscious. All the information is already available.
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  • Angus  Coventry


    20 Jun, 2017 08:06 pm

    nearly every airport doesn't have migration check. 
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  • sydunipete


    21 Jun, 2017 09:36 am

    I have a little stash of the green forms at home so I can complete them before travelling to the airport. My next flight out is on the 30th of June. They can all go to the recycling bin then.
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  • lind26


    21 Jun, 2017 10:56 am

    I asked about why the green form still needs to be filled in last time I flew. The answer from the Customs Guy was that they had to work out a way of asking people the question about taking more than $10000 AUD or equivalent in FEX out of Australia (Cross border Movement - Physical cash form needs to be filled in, in that case) in a manner other than the form. Will be interesting to see how that question is handled post 1 July.
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  • Reg Davies

    Reg Davies

    21 Jun, 2017 03:10 pm

    What are they going to do with all the staff they employ to check check and recheck the data,Private enterprise would be reducing staff how about the beaucracy ?????
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  • Robin Ryan


    21 Jun, 2017 03:16 pm

    I want to complain! I went to the trouble of collecting a thick wad of them to last my flying lifetime and as I won't be going overseas till December, I now have to get rid of them.
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  • Gerry Gannon

    Gerry Gannon

    21 Jun, 2017 03:18 pm

    Perfect! I'm on an international flight on July 4
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  • Lindsay Wilson

    QF WP

    21 Jun, 2017 03:23 pm

    Well we'd better keep the blank ones we've got in our travel wallets as momentos then ;-)  
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  • parishiltons


    21 Jun, 2017 03:36 pm

    Now for the arrival cards...
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  • Johnsy


    21 Jun, 2017 03:56 pm

    Im not religious but a hallelujah is in order... i have a bunch at home i pre-fill to stop the mad rush to the sad "bank style " desk with broken Bic pens attached to strings of which half dont work... Now rid us of the incoming yellowish orange card next !

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  • Johnsy


    21 Jun, 2017 03:59 pm

    Not sure of these drop boxes in Melb or Bris.. but in Sydney you can get thru immigration without handing one over... and everyone always forgot the last tick box on the back... like a previous poster mentions i think it was just for the 10k cash question. if your carrying more than that you would probably lie about it anyways. 
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  • petercr


    21 Jun, 2017 04:00 pm

    The Peter Dutton operative didn't even look at mine when I went through SYD in April. Neither did the one who took my card when coming back 4wks later....  
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  • OzDino


    21 Jun, 2017 04:12 pm

    Weren't these cards used for statistical purposes as well? I always intentionally misspelt my surname to see if I received any junk mail in the months following. Never did and was never stopped or checked in the 25 years I've been travelling.
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  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    21 Jun, 2017 06:30 pm

    It's  the arrival cards that annoy.. On a long flight, tired and cannot find a pen. 
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  • petercr


    21 Jun, 2017 11:35 pm

    Didn't need to do an arrival card when I flew back from Singapore. Used the biometric gates, went to the terminal and printed a receipt and that was it 
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  • peterh_oz


    21 Jun, 2017 07:41 pm

    I refused to do it last year in SYD due to identity theft concerns, as they were to be dropped into a clear perspex box. I asked the Federal Police counter staff (or were they Customs?) if there was somewhere else to drop them and explained why. They said they're being phased out (that was in October) but at that stage no there was only the perspex box, so I simply "forgot" oops! Obviously they weren't checked cos I never got asked upon return.
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  • Sk4nder


    21 Jun, 2017 11:09 pm

    As an extension of the phase out of hand-written cards in favour of automated gates, why is it that so many other nationalities get to use our automated passport gates (ie: Chinese, Japanese, Europeans, Americans), but when we arrive in/leave those countries, we have to go through the manual process?  Europe in particular is a nightmare -- Helsinki almost killed me once.  Shouldn't this be a reciprocal arrangement, Border Force/Peter Dutton?
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  • Jon


    22 Jun, 2017 02:50 am

    You can use the automated gate in the USA. Well, I could. YMMV.

    I also used the automated gate in LHR, but that was on a UK passport
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  • Chris Chamberlin


    22 Jun, 2017 09:31 am

    You unfortunately can't use the automated gates in the USA if you're entering on most visa types - it only works for visa waiver (ESTA) travellers and for a very small number of visas, and only when you've previously travelled to the USA on the same passport.

    All others have to line up the old-fashioned way (including those with hard-to-get USA journalism visas...) - and even if you have airline concierge assistance (such as via ConciergeKey), you still have to join the back of the queue.
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  • Himeno


    22 Jun, 2017 04:56 pm

    You can only use the US APC if you have a US or Canadian passport, a US Green Card, are traveling on B1/B2 or visas, or a I-94W (VWP) with an ESTA and have entered the US on that passport at least once since 2008.

    Meanwhile, American's are able to use the arrivals smart gate in AU and won't allow Australian's to sign up for Global Entry - which was part of the agreement to open up smart gate.
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  • aeromedic


    22 Jun, 2017 10:46 am

    Maybe canning outgoing cards is OK, but they'll have  to do something about those that bring in food and drugs. Are we to rely on sniffer dogs as pax disembark? 
    Making a declaration on a document or other media  is important. If pax get the idea that they can be dishonest about complying with Australian law when arriving, then who knows what plants and insects will get into this country.
    Customs and quarantine must have another system to put in place because THAT'S part of the incoming card requirements.
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  • bsb


    25 Jun, 2017 08:50 pm

    I'd love to know how much this saves. Such a sensible idea
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  • Andrew


    8 Jul, 2017 07:31 am

    What I fear with the phase out of both cards is the watering down of legalities associated with signing something, particularly the arrival card. All those people who continue to bring prohibited food into this country will just continue to say they didn't know, and without a signature, prosecution is more problematic
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26 Sep, 2017 01:13 am


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