People entering Australia could provide coronavirus vaccination status through a new pre-check-in digital declaration when international borders reopen.
Home Affairs boss Michael Pezzullo is expecting the federal government's digital passenger declaration to be trialled by early next year.
"The DPD will have the capability to validate the vaccination status of people who have been vaccinated in Australia when they return from overseas," he told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Monday.
"At the appropriate time, subject to public health advice, this could support Australians' ability to travel without the need for 14 days quarantine on return."
The new system could also recognise international vaccination certificates, both digital or in other forms.
"This will help to mitigate the risks posed by the use of fake or fraudulent vaccination certificates," Mr Pezzullo said.
The old regime of filling out a form shortly before landing in Australia will be replaced with a pre-check-in declaration including health status, visa information and travel history.
Mr Pezzullo said health data would be securely shared with state public health authorities.
"We're going to have to bake in and build in health information into that declaration. There's no point being told that an hour or two out from landing," he said.
The Australian Border Force was dealing with close to 50 million passenger movements a year before borders closed but the number is now about two per cent of that.
Mr Pezzullo is confident the new system will be ready to operate "at scale" to coincide with the federal budget's assumption of international travel returning in mid-2022.
Australian Associated Press