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Old 03-02-2015, 18:42   #1
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Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

Does anyone have any experience of bringing a sail (or any spare parts) into Australia for a foreign visiting yacht?

We are visiting Oz for a few months, with temporary yacht entry allowed under what's called a Customs Control Permit (essentially a deferred import for visiting yachts) but are back home in Hong Kong right now, where I've purchased a new jib.

To avoid any 'issues', I contacted Customs (Shipping Ops NSW) to see if there was any special paperwork I'd need when hand-carrying the sail back to my yacht this weekend, and have been told I'll need to import the sail and pay tax & duty on it - presumably 15%. Then maybe get a refund when we depart the country in a few months time.

I had hoped it possible to include the sail under the original CCP, given the number of other sails (and many other removable items) aboard the vessel that are covered.

Worse, as I'm flying in at the weekend (Fri night) they tell me I'll have to leave the sail at the airport and return during weekday office hours to pay the duty and retrieve the sail. Our yacht is at the NCYC in Newcastle, 4 hrs away by train. Great.

Anyone have any experience, suggestions...?
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Old 03-02-2015, 18:50   #2
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

If it is included in your baggage you might just get through customs with a repaired sale.

Worst case you may have to pay duty and get refunded on exit.
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Old 03-02-2015, 19:19   #3
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

I take it you mean a genoa? Fir a 44 footer? Thats not likely to fit in a suitcase, so its going to be a tad obvious when you roll through customs... And you will have filled out your customs declaration form on the flight.

I do know theres no problem getting the money back when you leave as I saw it done when we left Darwin for Indonesia.

I am a bit surprised they can't take a duty payment on the spot if you have your bill of sale for it.

You do have your Customs Control Permit with you, dont you? Or did you leave it on the boat? By having that you may bump into a good person who, for the sake of $200 duty sees how inconvenient it is for you to come back from Newcastle, and lets you off. But I dont like your chances.
Why the hell cant they bill you on the spot? What would happen if you were in a connecting flight to the other side of Australia? They expect u to pop back on Monday. Crazy.
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Old 03-02-2015, 20:10   #4
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

Yep, it's a 125% yankee-cut jib. Better visibility, and I find the Genoa catches too much water in a seaway. 30 kg and about suitcase-sized, although it won't be in one.

They say the duty payment has to be done at the office, which is closed outside weekday office hours.

I have the CCP and other boat paperwork with me, but it's more like AUD 450 we're talking about! Plus the cost of a return trip from Newcastle!
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Old 03-02-2015, 20:16   #5
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

Can you leave it in Malaysia and pick it up when you go that way?

Just bluff your way, say you didnt know and see if you are lucky.
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Old 03-02-2015, 20:44   #6
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

If you are thinking of catching the train to/from Newcastle be prepared for a slow journey as the train stops at so many stations. If you have to come back to Sydney to pick up the sail I would consider renting a car or have it couriered up to you in Newcastle.
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Old 03-02-2015, 21:10   #7
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

Its been a few years, but I once flew into Brisbane with about $5k worth of boat parts, including a new autopilot. I figured I'd best go through the 'something to declare' line, and the conversation went like this:

"What are you bringing with you?"

"Some parts for my boat, which is in Redcliffe."

"Do you have anything made of wood?"

"Well yes, a wind generator blade."

"Is it painted?"

"Yes."

"Enjoy your stay in Australia."

If I had been flying in on an Australian passport, the customs man would have been warming up his calculator.

My experience in bringing in boat parts as checked luggage has been the same in Caracas, Bangkok, Istanbul, Lanzarote, Trinidad, and Singapore. I had a friend fly me a new autopilot into Papeete--he went through the 'nothing to declare' line and no one blinked. I saw a guy in Istanbul doing the same thing with a HUGE box with a child's electric car in it--no one cared. In Caracas, I had three carts of luggage, including a 50 lb sewing machine--you put your hand on the button and it goes red (see Aduana) or green (you are free to go)--it went green for me, but red for the Venezuelanos.

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I think they cut the tourists some slack.
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Old 03-02-2015, 23:24   #8
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

I once bought back a full set of plastics for a racing quad bike ($4000 worth) and a heap of tools (upwards of 30kg and thousands of dollars worth) from the US to Australia. The customs guys were more interested in the 3 foot long child's fire truck I was carrying, they thought it the coolest thing they had ever seen. I would suggest to declare the sail (a used item of course, value equal to that of a dirty t-shirt) behave nonchalantly and take a chance.
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Old 04-02-2015, 00:13   #9
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

Declare it as used and valued at under AUS$1000. Then you will not be hit with duty or GST or have any problems. Do not put dirt on it to make it look used (that will cause more problems), but put something on it that looks like it has been used a bit. Do not bring any invoices or receipts.
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Old 04-02-2015, 03:37   #10
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

I cant see why you cant pay duty at the airport. you should simply be able to declare it, pay for it and walk on through. At sydney, the duty payment desk is on the left after you exit luggage pickup. I have paid at all sorts of odd hours.

Newcastle to Sydney Intentional, by express train no more than 2.5 hours if you get the right connections.
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Old 04-02-2015, 04:16   #11
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

I haven't brought boat stuff into australia... normally I'm taking stuff out and claiming back the GST under the TRS ( now you can have owned the stuff for 60 days before leaving... up from the old 30 days).
I've taken a fair swag of stuff into NZ and Chile though....including a 25 kg Rocna to Chile... I never declare it, when asked I just say its for my boat... that worked in NZ... once or twice had to flash my 'admission temporal' in Chile... never had to pay duty anywhere.

If asked, just tell them is for your boat...
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Old 04-02-2015, 04:23   #12
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Can you leave it in Malaysia and pick it up when you go that way?

Just bluff your way, say you didnt know and see if you are lucky.
Malaysia? Not planning on going there any time soon. Next stop likely to be NZ...
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Old 04-02-2015, 04:28   #13
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

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Originally Posted by giant View Post
If you are thinking of catching the train to/from Newcastle be prepared for a slow journey as the train stops at so many stations. If you have to come back to Sydney to pick up the sail I would consider renting a car or have it couriered up to you in Newcastle.
Yeah, I've already experienced the train(s) on the way from Newcastle to Sydney airport. Not looking forward to another round trip by train so I dare say a hire car is the way to go. More un-necessary expense!
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Old 04-02-2015, 04:58   #14
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
I cant see why you cant pay duty at the airport. you should simply be able to declare it, pay for it and walk on through. At sydney, the duty payment desk is on the left after you exit luggage pickup. I have paid at all sorts of odd hours.

Newcastle to Sydney Intentional, by express train no more than 2.5 hours if you get the right connections.
I can't see why either, but a Customs officer replied that their airport office is "only open 0830 to 1700 hrs Monday to Friday. The sail would be held at the airport until this was completed." - perhaps he's wrong, or perhaps the service has been cut back ('Abbotted') since you last used it?

2.5 hrs? Not door to door. More like 4 hrs once you include the hike at either end...
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:04   #15
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Re: Bringing a sail into Australia for a visiting yacht

Thanks for all the replies - food for thought.

I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed, not make it too obvious that it's a new sail, and hope to find a Customs officer who'll take pity on me.

Can't do much else, now I've flagged it up to the Shipping office. Doh!!!
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