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Non-profit aims to strengthen border management internationally


Tony Smith, the former head of UK Border Force, has formed a new non-profit organization called International Border Management and Technologies Association (IBMATA) that aims to strengthen border management internationally.

Officially launched last week at the Border Management & Technologies Summit Asia conference in Kuala Lumpur, IBMATA intends to encourage best practice in border management principles and the intelligent use of new and emerging technology.

Smith, who chairs IBMATA and also led the UK government’s border security program for London 2012 Summer Olympics, said that greater collaboration and joint working at both national and international level will play a role in achieving the successful management of international border controls.

“Border controls have never been under greater pressure, and things will only get tougher for the agencies managing them,” Smith said. “More people are crossing international borders than ever before. Air traffic is due to double over the next 20 years, and freight is set to triple over the same period. Terrorism and cyber threats are global and fluid.

“It is time for another radical shift in the way we manage border controls. The introduction of technologies into future borders will be a huge part of this, but regardless of the capabilities the real change will only come through collaboration.

“That means bringing together the eco-system of border management. Control agencies, airlines, airports, rail and sea carriers, port control authorities, academics, policy makers and technology providers big and small all have a role to play.”

The non-profit organization plans on building a platform for communication and collaboration, develop and manage international events and workshops for members and partners, build a library of relevant materials on the principles of modern day border management and latest advances in technology, and collaborate with its members and partners to identify models of best practice.

Membership is open to any department, agency, organization or company that has a role or interest in border management or facilitating the safe and secure movement of goods and people internationally.

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