There have been stories and rumours in the yachting press and amongst voyagers as to the rules for new arrivals in Australia. The implication was that a vessel had to
make contact with the Customs 96 hours before arrival, an obvious impossibility
for the many yachts not equipped with SSB radio.
From: Iron Bark
Sent: Friday, 27 April 2007 13:00
Subject: Prior notice of yacht arrivals CID # 00131878
According to the information on the Customs site, yachts are now required to give 96 hours notice of arrival in an Australian port. Many smaller vessels, mine included, are not fitted with SSB or sat phones, so cannot transmit this information while at sea. Can we send Australian Customs the required information by mail or email prior to departure from our last port, with ETA etc?
Obviously any such ETA for a small sailing vessel can only be approximate, but this is the case whether given 14 days or 4 days in advance.
Yacht Iron Bark
Bay of Islands,
Subject: RE: Prior notice of yacht arrivals CID # 00131878 [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED ED]
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 13:39:10 +1000
Dear Trevor,Thank you for your enquiry.
If you don't have the appropriate communication equipment, than it is okay to give us notice by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org: or phone number +61 3 9244 8973 or by faxing to +612 6275 6331 prior to departure from the last port. It is suggested that if you carry a mobile, to contact Customs as soon as you are within mobile range to notify us of your impending arrival.
You probably are aware of the following requirements but I'll remind you anyway.
- When entering Australian waters you are required to clearly display the International Pratique Q-flag (yellow). A further requirement is that the craft travels directly to an appointed boarding station.
- Customs, Quarantine and Immigration clearance must be completed prior to going ashore.
- Please stay on board.
- No persons other than a Quarantine or Customs officer is allowed to board your craft, nor can any person, animal or article leave the craft until you have been given full clearance;
- Depending on your arrival time, Customs and Quarantine may require all persons to remain on board overnight before clearing you the following day;
- Don't throw any waste or foodstuffs overboard while you're in Australian waters or while you are moored.
- Use designated quarantine disposal points;
- Keep all food and animals secure until your vessel has been inspected by Quarantine officers;
- Don't trade foodstuffs with other overseas vessels;
- Keep your vessel free of insects.
- To go ashore without prior clearance is an offence.
- Contact with other vessels in port prior to clearance is also prohibited
Senior Information Officer
Customs Information & Support Centre
Ph. 1300 363263
Fax. (02) 8339 6714
For more information on Customs refer to: www.customs.gov.au
By way of further clarification, here is a quote from our friend Nick Skeates aboard Wylo II. He arrived in Australia around the middle of June 2007:
"The Customs here are well aware of their evil reputation and are keen to change it. … As long as you e-mail, phone or fax them at least 4 days before arrival, they’re happy.The 10 day maximum in advance, they don’t bother with as much now. … Fresh antifoul and clean bottom went down well, along with empty tin of antifouling, through the receipt was not asked for. They do still watch for the Q flag, so I need not have used my mobile phone to contact them."