Cooperation and coordination – at national, cross-border and international levels – is key to improving the management of state borders and at the heart of Integrated Border Management.
The agencies that usually have an actual presence at the border itself (air, land or sea borders) are the border guards/border police, and customs. Other key agencies in border management – that might not necessarily have a physical presence there – include phytosanitary and migration services, animal and foodstuffs inspection services, human health and safety inspection services.
But a variety of other actors may also be involved, including the regular police (by conducting inland checks), the ministries of foreign affairs (issuing of visas), transport or finance, the port authorities, cargo vessel companies, ferries, coast guards, armed forces, airlines and railway companies.
Cooperation must start within each agency itself, because a lack of efficiency at that (intra-agency) level negatively impacts inter-agency and international cooperation, which in turn complicates IBM implementation.