8 December 2021– Illicit activities perpetrated by small sea craft, such as the movement of weapons, drugs and people, remain a significant threat to all countries in the Pacific.

The Australian Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force (ABF) have developed a web-based application – the Pacific Small Craft App – to assist Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) member states improve how information on small sea craft is collected and shared. The interactive and user-friendly web-based portal allows users, analysts and administrators to view, report, analyse and share information on small sea craft movements collected by the Application.

On behalf of Home Affairs and the ABF, Ambassador Turner was pleased to handover three Maritime Border Fundamental kits which will support investigation of small sea craft. The equipment complements training completed by three Palauan custom on the Pacific Small Craft App and investigation techniques conducted by OCO.

The rollout of the Pacific Small Craft App is managed by ABF with financial and technical support from Home Affairs. It can be used by frontline officers on Android and Apple smart phones.

Since roll out commenced in October 2020, there are over 290 active custom office users of the Pacific Small Craft App from 20 Pacific Island countries. To date, these officers have collected information on approximately 1,000 live small craft movements.

For more information, please contact the Australian Embassy, Palau on 488-4628 or koror.embassy@dfat.gov.au.

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