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Old 26-01-2006, 19:22   #1
Bob Norson
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New Hurdles for Clearing In to Australia

BEWARE!! A new protocol by Australian Quarantine could cost you thousands to clear in. Beginning later this year any yacht clearing into Australia will be inspected by customs/Quarantine and could be forced to have an immediate and unscheduled reanti-fouling at the adjacent facility. Avoid an unnessecary and high dollar haul out. For details, download your free copy Of THE COASTAL PASSAGE at www.thecoastalpassage.com look for the download for issue # 17 page 16& 17 "Bio-Fouling" articles. The PDF files require adobe read which is free and a link is on my site. If the page size is too small on your screen, click the + sign at the top of the page once or twice to enlarge. No cookies, cost or registration required. It's all about sailing free.

Cheers from the editor
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Old 27-01-2006, 07:28   #2
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Thanks, Bob. I'd like to read it but the link appears broke; can you check it?

Jack
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Old 28-01-2006, 00:33   #3
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Greetings

Maybe what happened was.... On the home page the "links" button is still being worked on but thats for connection to other sites... go lower on the page and you will see instructions for the download and real loud coloured buttons marked "issue # 17" and so on. # 17 is the right one for that article. It works OK. I just downloaded a sample. I have a real slow line here. took 8 minutes.

Also the Australian governments web site for the "official" version is www.aqis.gov.au/yachts Beware of their "facts."

I got a hold of their research report that the whole thing is based on as well as info from the Internation Maritime Organisation (UN) and various university studies to dissect the policy and found it riddled with bull.

I am getting reports from US boats especially, that local authorities are handing out "on the spot fines" for not having the approved Australian safety gear and they are not getting the extensions to permits that used to be a given... the welcome mat seems to be getting rolled up. NO OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD IS DOING THIS! I am sooooo proud... not.

hope all that helps

Cheers
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Old 28-01-2006, 00:51   #4
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Based on this, and other information I have gathered, Australia does not seem to be very cruiser friendly. Considering what an incredible place that is it seems like a real loss.
Bob, check your PM
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Old 28-01-2006, 00:58   #5
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Such a damn shame. And that country was one of my future port of calls?

Hopefully Bob. That's the only thing that your government only asks for? I can understand how important the barrier reef area. And certain other areas of Australias' ports tend to want to control the marine environment, form foreign marine creatures being imported into the country accidently?
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Old 28-01-2006, 01:05   #6
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I think this is more geared towards pollution control, and possibly revenue generation. This is not by any means the only regulation that has discouraged some cruisers from heading for Australia. I have to say, at this point, I plan to stay a bit to the north.
Wheels, you better put on an extra pot of coffee
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Old 28-01-2006, 01:10   #7
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Hey Wheels.

Make that a bucket of coffee for me!!
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Old 28-01-2006, 01:52   #8
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Greetings y'all

The issue of Australia as being less cruiser freindly? Sad to say I think so.. There are still much worse places around but the gov has been on a binge of regulation and yachts are a soft target.

On the issue of environment and importing pests.. hey, australian boaties are very keen on environmental issues but the new regs on marine tiolets and such are crazy. eg; The city of Brisbane pumps millions of litres at a time of raw untreated sewage into the bay... result ? Nothing. the papers print a press release saying, all ok nature has done its thing lets all go swimming. A passing yacht pumps 1 litre? $64,000!! A car driver tosses out a burger wrapper... fine? yep $200 (max) Boaties does the same thing? $262,000!! No miss print! Dispite what quaratine says in their web site, I have scoured every inch of their reseach and can not find one instance where they can prove a yacht brought any thing into country.. one maybe. Ships, on the other hand, have mountains of proof as to their transporting pests. But that has been going on for 200 years. Last year I coverd an event where a ship in harbour used incorrect engine starting procedure and coverd all the boats in adjacent marine with oil and ash that caused much damage... nothing! not a dollar fine. The news in Australia today??

In Gladstone Queensland, Port tug collides with bulk carrier. Fuel tank ruptured on ship, harbour reports 25,000 litres of oil spilled into harbour but boats in adjacent marina (yet again) claim that estimate may be too low. Local fishing industry already on it's knees do to new restrictions is felt to be doomed. I'm covering all bets!! The fine for a yacht spilling even a few litres?? $262,000. I'll take anyones $$ silly enought o bet the ship pays anything.

I can provide proof from government soucres for every word I say here. No bull.

It's all in the new edition of TCP. (well, not the oil spill, next one!)

I hate covering these kind of issues in my paper but no one else will.

Cheers
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Old 28-01-2006, 07:45   #9
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Bob, the link worked great and, when looking thru Issue #17, I must say I was impressed. When I think of some of the USA's regional throw-aways for the sailing public, I'd say you are excelling. It's also a nice way to have a 'glimpse' into the nature of the cruising/sailing scene there, something I always enjoy getting ahead of time when it's possible. To have this available free, on-line or downloadable for later reading at sea, is a great service.

I wouldn't be too hard on your govt., however. This just seems to be the nature of bureaucrats and First World countries. A nuisance and requiring one to constantly be working the grapevine upfront. I'll bet visiting Oz is no more bureaucratically cumbersome than where we're cruising right now.

Best wishes to you.

Jack
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Old 28-01-2006, 16:02   #10
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Greetings Jack and all you eaves droppers.. (like me)

First... thanks for the kind words regarding the paper. Thats what motivates me. I'm not a money guy. (good thing!) The message is most important but I want it looking good enought that people who take the effort to contribute can look with pride on the result. Besides, I'm a fussy @#%$# by nature. My other life I am a jewellery designer.

Yes, I know there are still worse places but if you knew how fast it has changed.... just 5 years ago was a different world here. The free tradition that was in place was left over from the time not long ago where virtually all commerce on the coast was by trader vessels. Aussie roads being what they are.

The paper has modified the behavior of the worst of the officials though. Alan Lucas is a regular contributor and he reported how a couple years ago he was boarded while under way by a rough rude person who scared the hell out of his wife who was in galley making lunch. I published legal research that pointed out they were violating traditional law going back to the magna carta by these boardings and that the individual officers were liabel for suit and damages!! Boardings ceased!! They now come along side and politely ask to see safety gear etc but they do not board. I reprinted that research in TCP # 16 which is also available on the web site.

I would rather publish home brew tips!

Cheers
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Old 24-06-2011, 06:55   #11
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re: New Hurdles for Clearing In to Australia

What is the percent of coverage by customs/immigration on boats coming into Australia? I'm not a smuggler or anything of that nature, just curious that this has never been mentioned. Do they have 100% coverage of all ships coming into Australia waters?
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Old 24-06-2011, 07:34   #12
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re: New Hurdles for Clearing In to Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFAfrica View Post
What is the percent of coverage by customs/immigration on boats coming into Australia? I'm not a smuggler or anything of that nature, just curious that this has never been mentioned. Do they have 100% coverage of all ships coming into Australia waters?
Short answer: Yes, if you mean jurisdiction, almost if you mean knowledge of your presence. Customs has a group of aircraft, equipped with sophisticated search equipment that fly the coasts and approaches daily. We've been overflown and contacted by "Coastwatch" aircraft when over a hundred miles offshore. Obviously they don't see EVERY incoming boat, but they come close.

The big issues (for us) in Oz are not with Customs -- we find them to be pretty straightforward and professional, with fairly consistent application of the rules. AQIS (the quarantine folks) on the other hand are a worry. For starters, they have imposed ever increasing fees for clearance... now $330 for normal working hours, twice that for night or weekend arrival. They have a list of proscribed foods that they search for and confiscate. This too is ok, except that the list changes frequently, and the individual boarding officers are VERY different in their interpretation and application of the rules. And lately they have begun worrying about termites on your boat if there is any timber in its construction. This worry can be expressed by:
an expensive requirement that your boat be searched by a sniffer dog who can detect the odor of termites... or an even more costly (and destructive) fumigation of your home. We're talking around a thousand bucks for the search (depending on specific location) and many thousands for the fumigation.

This subject has been discussed here on CF before, and also in Coastal Passage. We've been out of the country since April and possibly there has been some development in the situation... we hope for the better.

Cheers,
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Old 19-07-2011, 14:56   #13
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re: New Hurdles for Clearing In to Australia

fault or negligence not required, just pay the government all you have.
they will take your boat.
Quote:
The maximum penalties for discharge of oil or noxious liquid substances or harmful substances in Queensland waters have risen from $1.75 million to $10 million for corporations and from $350,000 to $500,000 for individuals. The offences are of strict liability (ie fault or negligence is not required)
I think they are on a roll and likely to keep on going for more and bigger fines.

Increased Penalties For Environmental Offences In Queensland - Environment - Australia
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