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Old 04-08-2013, 07:17   #16
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Re: Australian Customs etc

Hi guys,

I agree that and the Customs guys and most of the AQIS personnel are friendly. All of our dealings with Customs have been pleasant, helpful, and professional.

However, as the laws do change often, and AQIS are their bureaucracy, and as they have some discretion as to how they enforce those laws, I think it would be prudent for the OP to dowload the regulations, so he knows for sure what will be expected, and to arrive with a tidy, clean bottomed boat.


Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 04-08-2013, 15:02   #17
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Re: Australian Customs etc

You will find that Customs and Quarantine will adopt the same attitude as you have with them. Some people in the past have had problems with Bundaburg. I have been told that is because Bundaburg is the Customs Training School. You must notify Customs no less than 4 days / 96 hours in advance of your expected arrival. Fax them copies of passports of all people on board. Notify them of your last 4 ports of call and advise of any sickness, pets or firearms on board. Keep all of your rubbish and food. Quarantine know what you can and can't keep so let them handle it. They will charge you for the privilege of having your boat trashed and your breakfast confiscated. Don't arrive on a Saturday or Sunday or it will cost you double. If your boat has a lot of timber (including GRP boats) they may require an inspection. You arrange this personally with any local pest control agent who has the "TERMITRAC" equipment, it will cost about $250 to $300. The quarantine person must be present to witness the inspection, so he will cost you for his time again. It is not the end of the world and life will go on. It can all be over in a few hours and you can get on with your life. Fumigation is only required if they find one particular species of termite present. Just remember that they have made the rules and if you don't like them then arguing the point will only make life more difficult. They won't deviate from the law because of anything you say. They don't care what the law was in Hokey Pokey Land. Just let them do their job and everybody can be on their way.

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Old 04-08-2013, 18:04   #18
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Re: Australian Customs etc

I think the termite problem is that whilst there are more than enough domestic termites in Australia many of the trees evolved along with them and evolved chemical protections to them. Foreign termites being new to the timber from the trees are immune from the evolved protections.

I was in Maryborough a few years ago and an entire large building was being plastic wrapped, I was told that it was to be fumigated to kill off an imported termite that was eating up all the timber in it. Your quaint little wooden geegaw from Tahiti might put our historic buildings or homes at risk.

Australia is fairly lucky in that it does not have many of the serious pests which abound in other places - rabies, fire ants etc. However, from having had to struggle with a number of them we imported ourselves - cactus, rabbits, cane toads etc. we are well aware of the damage and nuisance these things can be and have decided that prevention is better than cure. AQIS appears to do a pretty good job at this.

I have been in and out of Australia dozens of times and cleared in personnel effects a number of times and never had any problems with customs or immigration officials. I have also traveled extensively in other parts of the world and with only a couple of exceptions found this to be the case world wide. Treated politely and with respect most people respond similarly.

Bob Norson is the bloke and the rag is Coastal Passage. I think that Bob and his "rag" have done far more good than harm in exposing over zealous officialdom, particularly in Queensland. I have been reading and enjoying the publication since it's inception in 2002 and noticed that in all instances Bob appeared very diligent in seeking out and presenting both sides of the story.

One instance of a good outcome was Bob's publication of a story about a family who were hunted out of the Shoalwater Bay military training area. Whilst I did not have much sympathy for the victims, they had well overstepped the mark and the military needs somewhere to play with their toys, I also thought that the military tended to overdo the closures. Bob's publication of these peoples experience made it into the national daily in a full page feature article and the closure policy now is much more realistic in that where prudent ie. the military exercise is limited in scope and unlikely to cause a hazard to the public, continued use of an anchorage in the training area is generally allowed.

Coastal Passage has a website, go there and read some of the horror stories it publicizes. Whilst doing so be mindful that governments, particularly those at a state level, in Australia perceive the boating public as rich floating dilettantes, a resource to be exploited by any means fair or foul to fund their profligate spending. The cost of liberty is eternal vigilance and we need the Bob Norson's of the world to help keep them in line.

Australia is a pretty good place to visit, the people are fairly friendly and laid back, you can drink the water out of the taps and with very few exceptions walk the streets at night safely. If the official you are dealing with is tending to be an obnoxious bastard it is probably because that personally he or she is normally an obnoxious bastard and is not just fishing for a bribe, which incidentally is very rare in Australia.
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Old 04-08-2013, 19:21   #19
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Re: Australian Customs etc

Regarding AQIS if you want to know if something is allowed prior to arrival they have a database called ICON, a little difficult to navigate at times, but it will tell you if the importation is acceptable. This is basicly the same database that the officer uses.

Rob aka Uncle Bob Sydney Australia.

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