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Old 24-10-2011, 07:27   #31
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Smile Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

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Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
Snip


Ok. But you'll have to drink it too
Hell yeah I will lol. We can make it a "session". And that has nothing to do with green herbs btw Aussie slang for having more than one ...or two even..
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Old 24-10-2011, 07:33   #32
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Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

I remember at Hammo race week a few years ago the coast watch guys were there. They were perusing the boats in attendance as well as doing the public relations job, handing out flyers etc. They were letting it be known that they were about and asking yachties to be somewhat alert. For what exactly, I cant remember. But no doubt if we saw an indo fishing boat on the race paddock it may have jogged our minds to give them a holla.
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Old 24-10-2011, 07:55   #33
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Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

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We are talking a BIG place to visit, is a few hours of gov't inspection etc. really a reason not to visit?
A few hours of government inspection is fine, tedious but fine. An expected damage to the boat is not. Well, at least while the boat is comparatively new. After we've had a chance to wear it out, it wouldn't matter quite as much (same as scratches on a car).
And drug plants are not fine at any point in boat's or our lives...
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Old 24-10-2011, 14:43   #34
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Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
...............
They gave me some papers to read and sign, which I did and then said they were going to search the boat and that we could not be on board while they did it and had to stand on the dock. .
Alas your experience is not unusual. The bit above however did grab my eye. That is one of the many actions, not supported by law and in contravention to good and appropriate law enforcement practice that ACS have a habit of doing.

for example, the removal of ceiling panels in the manner you describe is in contravention of section 185 of the Customs Act at subsection 3C-

(3C) In boarding and searching the ship or aircraft and searching or examining goods found on the ship or aircraft, an officer must not damage the ship, aircraft or goods by forcing open a part of the ship, aircraft or goods unless:
(a) the person (if any) apparently in charge of the ship or aircraft has been given a reasonable opportunity to open that part or the goods; or
(b) it is not reasonably practicable to give that person such an opportunity.


As for directing you to leave the ship

(3A) If an officer detains a ship or aircraft under this section, the officer may:
(a) detain any person found on the ship or aircraft and bring the person, or cause the person to be brought, to the migration zone (within the meaning of the Migration Act 1958 ); or
(b) take the person, or cause the person to be taken, to a place outside Australia.

The definition of place outside Australia in subsection 4(1) does not apply for the purposes of paragraph (b).

Powers to move people

(3AA) For the purpose of moving a person under subsection (3A), an officer may, within or outside Australia:

(a) place the person on a ship or aircraft; or

(b) restrain the person on a ship or aircraft; or

(c) remove the person from a ship or aircraft.


Which would suggest that the power to remove you from your ship is limited to limited when they are bringing you into a migration zone or taking you outside of Australia.

and there is a specific direction in the act that permits people to be present when search warrants are being executed (S203H)

(1) If a search warrant or a seizure warrant in relation to premises is being executed and the occupier of the premises or another person who apparently represents the occupier is present at the place where the warrant is executed, the person is, subject to Part IC of the Crimes Act 1914 , entitled to observe the search or seizure being conducted.

(2) The right to observe the search or seizure being conducted ceases if the person impedes the search or seizure.

(3) This section does not prevent 2 or more areas of the premises being searched at the same time.


and the ordinary rules of statutory interpretation would suggest that similar right should ordinarily extend to all searches.

Like I and others have said, still worth visiting us, but like I said earlier, ACS displays at times, little or no understanding of its own Act
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Old 24-10-2011, 15:04   #35
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Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

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Originally Posted by Factor View Post
...

for example, the removal of ceiling panels in the manner you describe is in contravention of section 185 of the Customs Act at subsection 3C-

...

As for directing you to leave the ship

...

and there is a specific direction in the act that permits people to be present when search warrants are being executed (S203H)

...
So another option is to find the complete Customs Act about a year before the planned visit to Australia and start learning all our rights. Or just hope for a respectful officer.
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Old 24-10-2011, 15:15   #36
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Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

Katiusha

I suppose my point is that ACS can be a pain, they appear to have no clear leadership on these issues and as a result some petty minded individuals behave inappropriately. Having said that we are still a good cruising country and worth a visit, and the up side is that if you do take the time to do your research and know what to expect then you should be better prepared. At least here their are mechanisms for redress.
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Old 24-10-2011, 15:17   #37
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Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

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Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
I remember at Hammo race week a few years ago the coast watch guys were there. They were perusing the boats in attendance as well as doing the public relations job, handing out flyers etc. They were letting it be known that they were about and asking yachties to be somewhat alert. For what exactly, I cant remember. But no doubt if we saw an indo fishing boat on the race paddock it may have jogged our minds to give them a holla.
Why?

I'm guessing few if any of the yachts at Hammo fell under ACS control, they would have had no powers whatsoever in respect of the fleet generally. If the first we knew of an indo fishing boat was in the whitsunday passage then I think we have some issues.
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Old 24-10-2011, 15:31   #38
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

Nonsense. Unless they changed so dramatically from 2006.

We visited in 2006 and it was a GREAT visit.

Yes, they have requirements. But unlike in many (beep) countries, we could visit their websites and learn what was required and what was not welcomed. We followed their rules and they were an example of good manners and education when searching our ship (in fact, they did ask for permission to come aboard and their drug dog was wearing soft shoes not to mark our boat). Not only this, they also asked if anybody has allergy or fear of dogs before proceeding.

Yes, they have many Coast Guard planes that fly over your ship many times and ask you the same questions all over again. We made friends with their crews on the second day and were glad it was Jerry and Simon up there in the air keeping eye on us. Actually sailing HUNDREDS of miles of their coast where there is NO land facilities available we thought their aerial presence was a blessing.

In any case, completely contrary to our fears (induced by other sailors and some sailing magazines) our visit to Australia was the highlight of the whole journey. In fact this is one of the few places where the Admiral would go again any time.

Single experiences differ. Ours was great.

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Old 24-10-2011, 15:35   #39
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Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
While the Coastal Passage is an interesting publication, they seem to thrive on muckraking and anti-governmental agitation. I personally have seen articles that were exaggerated beyond recognition covering situations that I was directly familiar with. I think that they serve a useful purpose in stimulating awareness, but suggest that you view their comments with some careful consideration.


Cheers,

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Beautifully (and diplomatically) put!

I know (knew) the editor of TCP personally. IMO the only thing balanced there is the chip on EACH shoulder!
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Old 24-10-2011, 15:53   #40
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

For gods' sake:

"...He was then told that Australia had recently (June 2006) introduced new laws making it compulsory that aircraft and shipping entering Australia must give between four and ten days notice of their impeding arrival.

Perhaps this Law was drawn up with commercial ships and airlines in mind (...)"

Completely FALSE. And nobody was required to send faxes (???) from the sea. One could phone, e-mail, or fax them.

The regulation was there BEFORE 2006 and the time limit was the MINIMUM for sending the advance information. Back in 2005 when planing our NZ to Oz route we already knew about this requirement.

We sent our information plenty of time in advance, via e-mail, and we even got a confirmation from their office and we were asked to keep the confirmation just in case the border officer has any issues finding us on their system. The border officer had no such issues though.

I am not even going deeper into that article as I think any editor should check bare facts prior to publishing anything.

This is the wording today:

"...The Master of a vessel arriving in Australia is required by law to give notice of impending arrival not later than 96 hours before arrival. Penalties may apply for failure to do so..."

Here is the source: information for yachts travelling to australia - let us know you're coming

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Old 24-10-2011, 15:54   #41
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

From what I can tell, some cruisers entering Australia have few if any hassles from officials (aside from the well-known requirements regarding food, etc) while others have a less smooth entry process.

The rules for entering other countries can be complex and its our responsibility as cruisers to know what we need to do to comply. Its also possible that mistakes are made and it would be nice to think that officials are able to assist cruisers to get it right, rather than simply leap on any opportunity to punish people. I guess some officials are really helpful, while others are less so.

The ports of entry that routinely receive visiting yachts are more likely to have officials who are most familiar with the rules, the tricks and traps and to have the most experience with dealing with cruisers. On the other hand, a port of entry that rarely gets visiting yachts is likely to be staffed by officials who are less familiar with the process and more stringent in the application of rules and guidelines. They may also be more interested in using the experience as training (more involved searches, planting of contraband for dog training, etc). You may wish to take that into consideration when planning your entry into Australia.

Could you have a less than perfect experience clearing into Australia? Yes, its possible, but then its possible to have hassles elsewhere too. Australia is a large and interesting place to explore .... seems a shame to avoid it completely because you might have to deal with a cranky official.
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Old 24-10-2011, 15:58   #42
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Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Factor View Post
Alas your experience is not unusual. The bit above however did grab my eye. That is one of the many actions, not supported by law and in contravention to good and appropriate law enforcement practice that ACS have a habit of doing.

for example, the removal of ceiling panels in the manner you describe is in contravention of section 185 of the Customs Act at subsection 3C-

[I] (3C) In boarding and searching the ship or aircraft .....................................
Like I and others have said, still worth visiting us, but like I said earlier, ACS displays at times, little or no understanding of its own Act
Wouldn't it be nice if all these rules related to immigration/visitors were posted, or provide a link, where Cruisers could read, and copy if need be, to filter out the aggressive attitudes a bit. Once the officers know that the person(s) being inspected know the rules, that they may have a bit more grace in doing their job. And getting their ID's lets them know that what ever they do can come back on them.
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Old 24-10-2011, 16:11   #43
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Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

The customs act is freely available on the interwebby.
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Old 24-10-2011, 16:14   #44
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

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some cruisers entering Australia have few if any hassles from officials . . . while others have a less smooth entry process.
Agreed with all you wrote.

What annoyed me most in fremantle was the seeming presumption of guilt, that I must be doing something wrong, and their job was to badger me into figuring out what it was and punish me. At least that is the way it came across.

From their perspective, I do see, we were a yacht entering in a harbour that sees some but not so many entries. We started on the wrong foot because we were on the wrong dock and they really did not understand how we had gotten there from Chile without stopping any place else.

And, while it was not a factor in their behavior (because it was well into the search), but I acknowledge that I handled the mace poorly - I had forgotten we had it on board (Beth;'s mother gave it to her years before) and I was also not aware that Mace would be any problem in Australia - if I had known either I would have dumped it in the water before entering.

But, again, like the USA and very unlike (I think) NZ there is a para-military culture (in NZ it is more a safety culture). When we got our cruising permit we were told we had to check into each harbour we visited. We told the officer our planned itinerary and asked where exactly we should check in. He said the next place would be Hobart (we sailed from Albany direct to Tasi). But when we then got to Hobart I was given a very hard time for 'not following the required procedure'. They wanted me to come and check into hobart first before any other cruising in Tasi, while we had stopped in Port Davy and other places before hobart. And they also thought we should have done a check in Albany but did not really care about that since it was outside their jurisdiction. So, there was a clear difference of interpretation between fremantle and hobart and all we were trying to do was follow what we were told to do.

I am banging on about this only because it is such an unusual experience in our cruising. We almost inevitably we have tremendously friendly and helpful encounters with officials. Some places it takes some time, like in the Azores were we had to check into and out of each harbour, which could take half a day each time, but the officials were always interested in us and helpful and friendly and professional.

But I have ranted and am done. We really loved Tasi and I would go back in a moment.
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Old 24-10-2011, 16:26   #45
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Re: Australian customs - deterrent to visiting Oz?

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The customs act is freely available on the interwebby.
Yes it is, Thanks!

http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/re...omsact1901.pdf
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