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CUSTOMS ACT 1901 - SECT 186AA

General powers of examination of goods loaded onto or unloaded from ships or aircraft

             (1)  This section applies in relation to the following:

                     (a)  a ship or aircraft in respect of a voyage or flight to a place in Australia from a place outside Australia;

                     (b)  a ship or aircraft in respect of a voyage or flight to a place outside Australia from a place in Australia.

Goods to be loaded onto the ship or aircraft

             (2)  If:

                     (a)  an officer has reason to believe that goods are to be loaded onto the ship or aircraft at an examinable place; and

                     (b)  the goods are to be unloaded at another examinable place on the same voyage or flight;

then:

                     (c)  any officer may, subject to subsections (5) and (6), examine the goods while the goods are at the examinable place mentioned in paragraph (a); and

                     (d)  the goods are subject to customs control while the goods are being so examined.

Goods unloaded from the ship or aircraft

             (3)  If:

                     (a)  goods are loaded onto the ship or aircraft at an examinable place; and

                     (b)  the goods are unloaded from the ship or aircraft at another examinable place on the same voyage or flight;

then:

                     (c)  any officer may, subject to subsections (5) and (6), examine the goods while the goods are at the examinable place mentioned in paragraph (b); and

                     (d)  the goods are subject to customs control while the goods are being so examined.

Rules relating to examination of goods

             (4)  The expense of an examination referred to in subsection (2) or (3), including the cost of removal to the place of examination, is to be borne by the owner of the goods.

             (5)  In the exercise of the power to examine goods, an officer may do, or arrange for another officer or other person having the necessary experience to do, whatever is reasonably necessary to permit the examination of the goods.

             (6)  Without limiting subsection (5), examples of what may be done in the examination of goods include the following:

                     (a)  opening any package in which goods are or may be contained;

                     (b)  using a device, such as an X-ray machine or ion scanning equipment, on the goods;

                     (c)  testing or analysing the goods;

                     (d)  measuring or counting the goods;

                     (e)  if the goods are a document--reading the document either directly or with the use of an electronic device;

                      (f)  using dogs to assist in examining the goods.

No limit on other provisions

             (7)  This section does not:

                     (a)  limit the application of any other provision of this Act that provides for goods to be subject to customs control; and

                     (b)  limit the application of any other provision of this Act that provides for the examination of goods.

Definition

             (8)  In this section:

"examinable place" means the following:

                     (a)  a port or airport in Australia (whether the first port or airport or any subsequent port or airport on the same voyage or flight);

                     (b)  a place to which a ship or aircraft has been brought because of stress of weather or other reasonable cause as mentioned in subsection 58(1);

                     (c)  a place that is the subject of a permission under subsection 58(2).



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