Border Protection Command (BPC) was established by the Australian Government in March 2005 to coordinate national awareness and response efforts to protect Australia’s interests in the Australian Maritime Domain (AMD). *
BPC is a multi-agency taskforce which utilises assets assigned from Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the Department of Defence to conduct civil maritime operations. BPC is not established under a specific statute. Assets assigned to BPC conduct law enforcement activities on behalf of other Australian Government agencies exercising powers under the Customs Act, Migration Act, and Fisheries Management Act.
BPC is the primary government law enforcement organisation in the AMD. The AMD includes predominantly the offshore areas within Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) but extends to the area bounded by Australia’s Security Forces Authority (SFA) zone. Border Protection Command is not a SAR organisation but its assets do respond to emergencies at sea in accordance with international obligations.
BPC works with officers from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, and other Commonwealth, State and Territory agencies to deliver a coordinated national approach to Australia's offshore maritime security.
BPC is a maritime law enforcement agency which, in concert with other government agencies and stakeholders, protects Australia's national interest by generating awareness of illegal activity in Australia's civil maritime domain across government and responding to mitigate, or eliminate, the risk posed by security threats.
BPC is responsible for coordinating and controlling operations to protect Australia's national interests against the following maritime security threats:
- Illegal exploitation of natural resources;
- Illegal activity in protected areas;
- Irregular maritime arrivals;
- Prohibited imports/exports;
- Maritime terrorism;
- Piracy, robbery or violence at sea;
- Compromise to bio-security; and
- Marine pollution.
* BPC was originally titled Joint Offshore Protection Command.