New Bill introduced to improve Australia’s mail screening practices

Modernised domestic and international mail screening, inspection and intervention arrangements will ensure they remain fit-for-purpose

The Australian Postal Corporation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 proposes a range of measures to address security-related vulnerabilities in the international mail stream, and clarify and improve existing regulatory arrangements for domestic and international mail screening so they continue to operate effectively.

The Bill will make amendments to the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989 (the Act), including:

•    future-proofing the system against emerging risks, allowing Australia Post and border agencies to adapt their practices as required
•    simplifying terminology and legislative processes to support processing and screening of articles, and address evolving risks in the mail stream
•    allowing Australia Post employees to disclose information or documents to prescribed persons, and particularly officials and officers of Commonwealth, state and territory bodies, to assist in the performance of their functions or duties

The amendments will ensure that Australia Post and border agencies can more efficiently share relevant information with other agencies and authorities under strict parameters. This will assist in the performance of their functions and duties during investigative and regulatory activities. The measures for enhanced information sharing arrangements have been designed with appropriate privacy safeguards in mind.

It will also ensure the regulatory arrangements for the carriage of domestic and international mail by Australia Post continue to align with the legislative powers and functions of border agencies for the inspection and examination of high-risk international air mail and cargo.

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