IBMATA formed to strengthen border security management regimes on global stage

A former UK Border Force leader is behind a new organisation that aims to strengthen border management globally. The International Border Management and Technologies Association (IBMATA) is the brainchild of Tony Smith, who also led the UK Government’s border security programme for London 2012 which saw three million athletes, coaches, spectators and officials processed at the UK border on top of ‘business as usual’.

IBMATA, which has its official launch at the Border Management & Technologies Summit Asia Conference in Kuala Lumpur next month, aims to promote Best Practice in border management principles and the intelligent use of both new and emerging technologies.

Smith, who chairs IBMATA, believes that better collaboration and joint working at both the national and international level is the main factor that will determine the successful management of international border controls.

“Border controls have never been under greater pressure, while matters will only become tougher for the agencies managing them,” explained Smith. “More people are crossing international borders than ever before. Air traffic is due to double over the next 20 years, while freight is set to triple in volume across the same period. Terrorism and cyber threats are global and fluid. It’s time for another radical shift in the way in which we manage border controls.”

During his 40-year career, Smith served as regional director for London and the South East at the UK Border Agency, as well as head of border control in the UK Immigration Service and head of ports and border management in Citizenship and Immigration, Canada. He was awarded the CBE in 2013 for services to the safety and security of London 2012. After retiring from public service, Smith then became managing director of Fortinus Global Ltd.

“The introduction of technologies into future borders will be a huge part of that radical shift,” added Smith, “but, regardless of the capabilities involved, the real change will only come through collaboration. That means bringing together the ecosystem 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.”

A not-for-profit organisation, IBMATA intends to build 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 the latest advances in technology and also work with its members and partners to identify models of Best Practice.

Membership is open to any department, agency, organisation or company that has a role or an interest in border management or the safe and secure movement of goods and people on the international stage. Further information is available online at

*The 2nd Border Management & Technologies Summit takes place on 7-9 November in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Additional details are available at

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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