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American Cruisers Lose Appeal Against Australian Customs

By doina — last modified Jan 23, 2015 03:29 PM

Published: 2008-02-29 10:35:00
Countries: Australia

An Australian court has upheld the conviction and large fine levied against Jim and Dorothy Manzari of SV Oceanus, who were convicted on 1 February 2007 by a customs magistrate of failing to announce the intended arrival of their vessel and crew into Australia.

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providing evidence that they had attended the Australian Consulate in Noumea, New Caledonia and were provided with an out-of-date document which clearly stated that they should give not less than 48 hours notice of arrival. Yachts must give a minimum of 96 hours notice of arrival to Australian customs.

The Manzaris were fined $4,000 and prosecution costs of $15,000. At the appeal hearing at the end of January 2008, the District Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the magistrate's finding. The appeal decision also said they had to pay the custom's legal costs.

The Coastal Passage online magazine has been reporting on this case in detail, as well as other cases and the whole issue of Australian Customs reporting demands on visiting yachts.

The Coastal Passage

Read the appeal court's decision here