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Australian Customs Impose Tough New Notification Rule

By doina — last modified Mar 22, 2007 08:45 AM

Published: 2007-03-22 08:45:24
Topics: Cruising Information
Countries: Australia , Fiji , New Caledonia , New Zealand

From June 2006 Australian Customs require that arriving yachts must give notice of arrival at least 96 hours before arrival (the regulation was previously 48 hours). In January 2007 a couple were fined several thousand dollars in an Australian court following charges that they had failed to meet this requirement on arriving in Port Bundaberg in September 2006. The couple were found guilty despite providing evidence that they had attended the Australian Consulate in Noumea, New Caledonia and were provided with an out-of-date document which clearly stated that they should give not less than 48 hours notice of arrival. Other yachts have also found themselves in court and facing large fines for failing to comply.

A yacht captain must notify Australian customs of their impending arrival not less than 96 hours (there is no outer limit; the 10 day outer limit has been dropped). This can be done by:

  • sending an email to [email protected]
  • sending a fax to +61 2 6275 6331
  • phoning the Australian Customs National Communications Centre on +61 3 9244 8979 (until Saturday 24 March 2007). From 25 March 2007 until further notice, telephone Customs on + 61 3 9600 3604.

You will need to provide the following information: yacht's name; intended first port of arrival; estimated arrival time; last four ports; details of people on board including name, date of birth, nationality and passport number; details of any illness or disease recently encountered; if you have any animals on board; if you have any firearms on board.

Those who do not have onboard email should do it from the last port and request confirmation by email from the Australian authorities. The confirmation should be printed and kept for reference.

For more information visit:

Australian Clearance

The Coastal Passage