Border Security: Australia's Front Line

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Border Security: Australia's Front Line
Also known asNothing to Declare
Narrated byGrant Bowler
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons14
No. of episodes231 (as of 20 December 2019)
Executive producerLyndal Marks
Production locationAustralia
Running timeApprox 30 minutes (including commercials)
Production companySeven Studios
  • Cineflix (Seasons 1-11)
  • Seven Studios Distribution (Season 12-Present)
Original networkSeven Network
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original release13 October 2004 (2004-10-13) –

Border Security: Australia's Front Line is an Australian factual television program that airs on the Seven Network. The show follows the work of officers of the Department of Home Affairs, Australian Border Force, and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, as they enforce Australian immigration, customs, quarantine and finance laws. It also shows scenes from Sydney mail centre.

Most of the programme is filmed at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports. Occasionally, the programme features other locations such as Perth Airport, seaports, international mail centres, raids on workplaces suspected of employing persons contrary to the restrictions of their visa or immigrant status and the work of Australian Border Force vessels and aircraft in the waters of Northern Australia.

The series was renewed for a 14th series that is scheduled to be broadcast in 2018.[1]


The show premiered in Australia in 2004 and became a ratings hit.[2] The first series was hosted by Grant Bowler, who stopped appearing on camera in subsequent series. However, Bowler appears on the show again in 2010 at the beginning of the show. In all seasons, Bowler provides the voice over for every story. The show has continued to air since then, and airs on Wednesday nights in 2010. It is classified PG. The show was moved to a Sunday Night slot for Season 7 in 2011. The show premiered on Sunday 6 February 2011, at 7:30pm.

The show is also broadcast internationally. In New Zealand, it airs on TVNZ's TV1. It airs in the United Kingdom on Sky Witness, Pick and Sky Crime, and in Ireland on TV3 (airing as Nothing to Declare in both the UK and Ireland),

It airs on Tele 5 in Poland (in Polish), on vtm in Belgium and on Veronica in the Netherlands, where it is dubbed into Dutch. Kanal 9 airs the series in Sweden, on Jim in Finland, on the TV 2 channel in Denmark, on DMAX in Germany dubbed into German; and also in Italy on DMAX dubbed into Italian, where it is broadcast as Airport Security, and in France on CStar, dubbed into French and broadcast as Douanes sous haute surveillance.[3]

It is broadcast as Grensevakten in Norway on TVNorge, on the Australian Pay TV channel The LifeStyle Channel and on the Australia Network. Border Security airs across Asia in countries such as: Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Macau. In Canada, the series airs on BBC Canada and DTour.[4] In Singapore it airs on Fox Crime.


Writer Bob Burton in his book Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry expressed concern that the television show, by being subject to post-production editing, allows the producers to remove anything that shows any mistakes made by the government agencies concerned. Instead, Burton argues, the show gives the viewing public the sense that the government is effectively and fairly administrating border security policy.[5]

In 2009 Media Watch suggested that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship used its working relationship with Seven as leverage for an apology to its National Communications Manager, Sandi Logan, who had appeared in an unflattering light on a Today Tonight report. Media Watch's sources claimed that persons in the Department threatened to cease co-operation with Seven in the production of future Border Security episodes.[6]

In November 2014, American sex work activist Monica Jones was detained in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre after the Department of Immigration and Border Protection cancelled her tourist visa at Sydney Airport.[7][8] Jones commented that producers for Border Security "knew details of what Immigration was going to do to me" and that "It was about 30 seconds before the cameras showed up... and tried to get me on their TV show"[9] Jones was asked by an immigration officer "Are you OK if they continue to film" when she had already demanded that the TV cameras leave.[7]


Season 1 (2004)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Australian viewers
11"Episode 1"13 October 2004 (2004-10-13)N/A
22"Episode 2"2004 (2004)TBD
33"Episode 3"27 October 2004 (2004-10-27)N/A
44"Episode 4"2004 (2004)TBD
A holidaymaker carrying Lord of the Rings statues and a couple carrying hidden weapons are investigated. An elderly man is deported when he is caught using a false passport.
55"Episode 5"2004 (2004)TBD
66"Episode 6"2004 (2004)TBD
77"Episode 7"2004 (2004)TBD
88"Episode 8"2004 (2004)TBD
99"Episode 9"2004 (2004)TBD
1010"Episode 10"2004 (2004)TBD

Season 2 (2005)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Australian viewers
111"Episode 1"2005 (2005)TBD
122"Episode 2"2005 (2005)TBD
133"Episode 3"2005 (2005)TBD
144"Episode 4"2005 (2005)TBD
155"Episode 5"2005 (2005)TBD
166"Episode 6"2005 (2005)TBD
177"Episode 7"2005 (2005)TBD
188"Episode 8"2005 (2005)TBD
199"Episode 9"2005 (2005)TBD
2010"Episode 10"2005 (2005)TBD
2111"Episode 11"2005 (2005)TBD

Season 3 (2006)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Australian viewers
221"Episode 1"2006 (2006)TBD
232"Episode 2"2006 (2006)TBD
243"Episode 3"2006 (2006)TBD
254"Episode 4"2006 (2006)TBD
265"Episode 5"2006 (2006)TBD
276"Episode 6"2006 (2006)TBD
287"Episode 7"2006 (2006)TBD
298"Episode 8"2006 (2006)TBD
309"Episode 9"2006 (2006)TBD
3110"Episode 10"2006 (2006)TBD
3211"Episode 11"2006 (2006)TBD
3312"Episode 12"2006 (2006)TBD
3413"Episode 13"2006 (2006)TBD
3514"Episode 14"2006 (2006)TBD
3615"Episode 15"2006 (2006)TBD
3716"Episode 16"2006 (2006)TBD
3817"Episode 17"2006 (2006)TBD
3918"Episode 18"2006 (2006)TBD
4019"Episode 19"2006 (2006)TBD

Season 10 (2015)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Australian viewers
TBA1"Episode 1"24 June 2015 (2015-06-24)794,000
Officers are concerned by a passenger's bizarre behaviour when traces of a drug known as 'Charlie Sheen' are found. A gruesome find in the mail room may be linked to witchcraft. Immigration suspect a baby-faced tourist may be an imposter.
TBA2"Episode 2"1 July 2015 (2015-07-01)741,000
A bungling drug mule tries every trick to avoid being caught. An elderly gambler's luck runs out when Immigration uncover his ongoing scam. Biosecurity intercept a delivery from Russia which is suspected to be part of the illegal trade in endangered animals.
TBA3"Episode 3"8 July 2015 (2015-07-08)697,000
A bunch of Aussies returning from Thailand are all packing a shocking concealment. A man on the run from Immigration detention tries to escape capture. Officers smash a sophisticated drug syndicate.
TBA4"Episode 4"15 July 2015 (2015-07-15)693,000
When a woman pushes away a sniffer dog, officers home in on what she has stuffed in her undies, a young man's past is exposed and two Indian passengers will say just about anything to get out of a fine.
TBA5"Episode 5"22 July 2015 (2015-07-22)743,000
Officers search an aircraft when it is feared that a jumpy, sweating passenger has dumped contraband on board. A gang of hustlers are stopped at the border and their scam is soon uncovered. When a doctor is caught falsifying a legal document he tries to blame it all on his wife.
TBA5"Episode 6"5 August 2015 (2015-08-05)753,000

In Border's biggest drug bust, a shipment of narcotics is discovered in the most unlikely of places. Also, the discovery of a mystery bag finally reveals the truth behind an imposter's lies.

Note: Episodes 6 and 7 originally played as a double episode.
TBA5"Episode 7"5 August 2015 (2015-08-05)753,000

In Border's biggest drug bust, a shipment of narcotics is discovered in the most unlikely of places. Also, the discovery of a mystery bag finally reveals the truth behind an imposter's lies.

Note: Episodes 6 and 7 originally played as a double episode.
TBA5"Episode 8"12 August 2015 (2015-08-12)747,000
An elderly man is caught delivering a suitcase with a shocking concealment. A father travels to save his daughter in an abusive relationship. A Chinese couple is caught with much food in their bags.
TBA5"Episode 9"19 August 2015 (2015-08-19)811,000
Officers take chase when some illegal foreigners make a daring escape. Three young men are caught being paid to be couriers for illegal smugglers. A traveller finds himself in a sticky situation.
TBA10"Episode 10"26 August 2015 (2015-08-26)770,000
When traces of cocaine are found on the belongings of a family returning from South America, one of them makes a confession. Officers suspect a Ukrainian man isn't just there for a business trip.
TBA11"Episode 11"2 September 2015 (2015-09-02)758,000
A passenger who is carrying clumps of human hair becomes hysterical when her luggage returns positive readings for drugs. Immigration has concerns about an Indonesian man who is travelling with several disturbing documents and officers are suspicious about a child's car seat.
TBA12"Episode 12"9 September 2015 (2015-09-09)799,000
Immigration detain a bus load of illegal workers but their organiser is not giving in without a fight. An Aussie is far from happy about having her bag searched and begins to mouth off.
TBA13"Episode 13"7 October 2015 (2015-10-07)774,000
TBA14"Episode 14"14 October 2015 (2015-10-14)860,000
TBA15"Episode 15"21 October 2015 (2015-10-21)881,000
Border Force officers are left in shock when inspecting the luggage of a Vietnamese woman suspected to be involved in drugs. Later, biosecurity try to teach a stubborn student an important lesson.
TBA16"Episode 16"28 October 2015 (2015-10-28)857,000
Detector dogs stop an elderly man with an extremely high risk item and he's far from happy about it. An evasive passenger tries everything to avoid questioning about his reason for crossing the border.

Season 11 (2016)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Australian viewers
TBA1"Episode 1"17 July 2016 (2016-07-17)705,000
An American couple admit to using medicinal marijuana at home in California and officers suspect they may be trying to smuggle drugs into Australia.
TBA2"Episode 2"20 July 2016 (2016-07-20)767,000
An Asian woman stuns officers with her outrageous behaviour, shedding tears and throwing a tantrum. Also, traces of a date-rape drug are found on a Chinese man's luggage.
TBA3"Episode 3"24 July 2016 (2016-07-24)732,000
Officers must establish whether an Indonesian woman is lying or the victim of identity theft. Also, officers catch a Vietnamese student with a stash of seafood infested by exotic pests.
TBA4"Episode 4"27 July 2016 (2016-07-27)699,000
High Traces of Methamphetamines are detected on an American woman's luggage and officers suspect a pregnant Japanese woman is trying to courier drugs.
TBA5"Episode 5"31 July 2016 (2016-07-31)780,000
A passenger travelling with a snow board during summer has officers concerned he's got something hidden inside. Later, a Hong Kong fisherman is found to be carrying live bait.
TBA6"Episode 6"3 August 2016 (2016-08-03)656,000
A Malaysian man says he's here for a holiday but officers suspect he's here to work. Also, a shipment of water looks to be loaded with an illicit substance.
TBA7"Episode 7"31 August 2016 (2016-08-31)732,000
Officers question an American woman when they suspect she's arrived to perform unlawful work in the sex trade. Also, a Chinese mother and son get caught red-handed with high-risk concealment.
TBA8"Episode 8"7 September 2016 (2016-09-07)728,000
Officers fear a cocaine user may be smuggling drugs in a dangerous place after his quick trip to South America.
TBA9"Episode 9"14 September 2016 (2016-09-14)619,000
Officers are on high alert when an Italian man's luggage appears to have been tampered with and they suspect they're dealing with a drug courier.
TBA10"Episode 10"21 September 2016 (2016-09-21)660,000
An English Ex-Con tries to hide his dangerous past and it could stop him from entering to meet his new born granddaughter.
TBA11"Episode 11"28 September 2016 (2016-09-28)635,000
Officers spot a traveller behaving very strangely and he acts up when he's caught out breaking the law. Also, a US citizen is detained when officers suspect he's been working unlawfully in the country.
TBA12"Episode 12"25 October 2016 (2016-10-25)657,000
A Vietnamese man causes concern when he claims he doesn't know what's in his bag. Officers fear the worst when an x-ray shows something suspicious. Officers find a deadly concealment in a kid's toy.

Season 12 (2017)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Australian viewers
TBA1"Episode 1"14 June 2017 (2017-06-14)N/A
TBA2"Episode 2"5 July 2017 (2017-07-05)N/A
TBA3"Episode 3"16 July 2017 (2017-07-16)N/A
TBA4"Episode 4"19 July 2017 (2017-07-19)N/A
TBA5"Episode 5"23 July 2017 (2017-07-23)N/A
TBA6"Episode 6"26 July 2017 (2017-07-26)N/A
TBA7"Episode 7"2 August 2017 (2017-08-02)N/A
TBA8"Episode 8"16 August 2017 (2017-08-16)N/A
TBA9"Episode 9"23 August 2017 (2017-08-23)N/A
TBA10"Episode 10"30 August 2017 (2017-08-30)N/A
TBA11"Episode 11"6 September 2017 (2017-09-06)N/A
TBA12"Episode 12"20 September 2017 (2017-09-20)N/A
TBA13"Episode 13"4 October 2017 (2017-10-04)N/A
TBA14"Episode 14"11 October 2017 (2017-10-11)N/A

Season 13 (2018)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Australian viewers
TBA1"Episode 1"31 July 2018 (2018-07-31)423,000
A nervous passenger gets the attention of officers when a vile stench is detected in his luggage. A Chinese couple try to blame their children for bringing a major biosecurity risk.
TBA2"Episode 2"16 August 2018 (2018-08-16)426,000
TBA3"Episode 3"23 August 2018 (2018-08-23)426,000
TBA4"Episode 4"28 August 2018 (2018-08-28)418,000
TBA5"Episode 5"6 September 2018 (2018-09-06)N/A
TBA6"Episode 6"8 October 2018 (2018-10-08)N/A
Officers know a male passenger is lying to them, they just need to work out what he is hiding. A grisly package containing animal parts has biosecurity officers on edge.
TBA7"Episode 7"15 October 2018 (2018-10-15)513,000
A nervous man alarms officers. Two Brazilian men claim to be best friends but officers suspect it's a cover for illegal activity. A huge amount of prohibited food shocks Biosecurity.
TBA8"Episode 8"22 October 2018 (2018-10-22)567,000
A young designer from LA arrives with a suspicious bag. Biosecurity officers uncover a huge quantity of high-risk items in the luggage of a Chinese student.
TBA9"Episode 9"21 November 2018 (2018-11-21)642,000
A nervous man has brought a bag of tea and coffee which turns out to be much more than a beverage. A couple returning to Australia have a very creepy collection they've brought home with them.
TBA10"Episode 10"28 November 2018 (2018-11-28)N/A
Officers are concerned a passenger may be up to a lot more than he's letting on. A container from China that will blow the lid off a massive criminal syndicate. Also, a huge threat to our biosecurity.

Season 14 (2019-2021)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Australian viewers
TBA1"Episode 1"3 July 2019 (2019-07-03)459,000
Officers come across a box from Malaysia that seems a little unusual and reveals something frightening. Officer Shane investigates a delivery of chip packets that contain something less than savoury.
TBA2"Episode 2"10 July 2019 (2019-07-10)409,000
TBA3"Episode 3"17 July 2019 (2019-07-17)521,000
TBA4"Episode 4"17 September 2019 (2019-09-17)458,000
TBA5"Episode 5"20 October 2019 (2019-10-20)361,000
TBA6"Episode 6"22 March 2020 (2020-03-22)767,000
An American man makes a shocking confession in one of the program's most dramatic busts. A strange package from Russia is found to contain an extremely rare and unusual item.
TBA7"Episode 7"30 March 2020 (2020-03-30)Not In Top 20
When a Chinese man is reluctant to answer officers' questions, they soon realise he's covering for a partner in crime. What a man has hidden in his bag could have a devastating effect on biosecurity.
TBA8"Episode 8"31 March 2020 (2020-03-31)345,000
Officers want to know the reason for a French traveller's extremely nervous behaviour. Biosecurity officers find a disgusting concealment in the luggage of a woman arriving from Vietnam.
TBA9"Episode 9"5 April 2020 (2020-04-05)470,000
TBA10"Episode 10"19 May 2020 (2020-05-19)475,000
TBA11"Episode 11"12 October 2020 (2020-10-12)N/A
Biosecurity dog Cody makes a fishy discovery in the bags of a mother daughter couple returning from Vietnam. An X-ray image on a package from Tanzania shows something that looks like a head.
TBA12"Episode 12"12 October 2020 (2020-10-12)N/A
When officers stop a woman from Canada, they suspect she's not here for business as she claims. This investigation unravels one of the most elaborate concealments ever seen at the border.
TBA13"Episode 13"2020 (2020)TBD
TBA14"Episode 14"2020 (2020)TBD
TBA15"Episode 15"2020 (2020)TBD

Series ratings[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired Viewership
Season premiere Season finale Viewers (in millions) Rating Rank Ref
1 10 13 October 2004 15 December 2004 N/A [10]
2 11 10 February 2005 21 April 2005 1.822 13.2 #1
3 19 16 May 2006 19 September 2006 2.119 15.2 #1
4 10 2 November 2006 14 March 2007 1.569 11.2 #3
5 10 2 July 2007 26 November 2007 1.828 13.0 #2
6 20 11 February 2008 22 June 2008 1.610 11.3 #3
7 10 8 February 2009 12 April 2009 1.499 10.3 #1
8 17 13 September 2009 14 October 2009 1.480 10.2 #3
9 7 14 February 2010 4 April 2010 1.229 8.3 #5 [11]
10 8 22 September 2010 10 November 2010
11 10 6 February 2011 10 April 2011 1.090 7.1 #2
12 7 5 February 2012 March 2012 0.976 6.2 #7
13 17 3 February 2013 17 September 2013 0.966 6.1 #4
14 18 27 February 2014 5 October 2014 0.818 5.1 #5
15 16 24 June 2015 28 October 2015 TBA TBA TBA

International versions[edit]

A Canadian version of the show, titled Border Security: Canada's Front Line, began airing in 2012 in Canada. It was cancelled after three seasons, due to the Canadian Privacy Commissioner ruling that the show and the CBSA had breached the privacy act.

A US version of the show, titled Homeland Security USA, began airing in 2009 in the United States. It ran for 13 episodes, two of which have never been aired.

A British version of the show, titled Nothing to Declare UK, aired in 2011 in the United Kingdom.

A Latin American version of the show, titled Alerta Aeropuerto filmed at El Dorado Airoport in Bogota, Colombia and Jorge Chavez Airoport in Lima, Peru began airing 2016 in Latin America on National Geographic Channel.[12][13]

A second American version called Border Security: America's Front Line started airing on ABC on September 2016.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Knox, David (27 October 2017). "Seven 2018: Denton, Olivia, Doctor Blake, Commonwealth Games". TV Tonight. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Customs conducts secret research on effectiveness of Border Security".
  3. ^ Douanes sous haute surveillance, on the MyCanal website
  4. ^ "Border Security @ TheTVDB". Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Need to curb a PR industry spinning out of control - Opinion -".
  6. ^ "Media Watch: Immigration Dept threat to Border Security". 14 September 2009.
  7. ^ a b Jason Om (9 December 2014). "Deported US transgender woman Monica Jones allegedly advertised sexual services, court documents show". Lateline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  8. ^ Jason Om (2 December 2014). "Border Security program accused of contributing to alleged unfair treatment of US transgender activist". Lateline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  9. ^ David Knox (3 December 2014). "Activist claims Border Security knew details of her case". TV Tonight.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]