Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs

Customs Act 1901

Customs Amendment Regulations 2004 (No. 9)

Subsection 270(1) of the Customs Act 1901 (the Act) provides, in part, that the Governor-General may make regulations not inconsistent with the Act prescribing all matters which by the Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or as may be necessary or convenient to be prescribed for giving effect to the Act or for the conduct of any business relating to the Customs.

The purpose of the amending Regulations is to amend the Customs Regulations 1926 (the Principal Regulations) to prescribe the class of ships for which reports of departing passengers and crew will have to be reported to Customs.

Item 1 of Schedule 3 to the Customs Legislation Amendment (Airport, Port and Cargo Security) Act 2004 (item 1) will insert Part VB into the Act. This item will commence on 13 January 2005 unless proclaimed to commence earlier. It is not proposed to proclaim it to commence earlier.

Subdivision A of Division 1 of Part VB will require the operator of certain ships and aircraft that are due to depart:

a)       from a place in Australia at the beginning of a journey to a place outside Australia (whether or not the journey will conclude outside Australia); or

b)       from a place in Australia in the course of such a journey;

to report the people on board or expected to be on board the ship or aircraft when it departs each place.

Three reports will have to be provided for each place on a relevant journey: the first between 72 and 48 hours before the time the ship or aircraft is due to depart the place, the second between 10 and 4 hours before that time and the third before the ship or aircraft departs. The second and third reports do not have to include anyone reported earlier.

New subsection 106A(1) of the Act will provide that these reporting requirements apply to a ship or aircraft of a kind prescribed by regulations made for the purposes of section 106A. New subsection 106A(2) of the Act will provide that regulations made for the purposes of section 106A may specify kinds of ships or aircraft by reference to particular matters, including any or all of the following matters:

a)       the type, size or capacity of the ship or aircraft;

b)       the kind of operation or service in which the aircraft or ship will be engaged on journeys from Australia;

c)       other circumstances relating to the ship or aircraft or its use, or relating to the operator of the ship or aircraft.

The amending Regulations prescribe the kind of ships that are subject to Subdivision A of Division 1 of Part VB. They are international passenger cruise ships. These are ships that:

a)       have sleeping facilities for at least 100 persons (other than crew members); and

b)       are being used to provide a service of sea transportation of persons from a place in Australia to a place outside Australia that:

-       is provided in return for a fee payable by persons using the service; and

-       is available to the general public.

The Australian Customs Service (Customs) does not have facilities at most ports to process passengers and crew using electronic systems. The amending Regulations ensure that Customs can conduct any necessary checks, before the passengers and crew of international passenger cruise ships arrive at the ship, in order to process those passengers and crew.

Since Customs does have electronic processing facilities at the airports that aircraft currently depart Australia from, it is not proposed to prescribe any kinds of aircraft.

The amending Regulations commence on 13 January 2005, to coincide with the commencement of item 1.


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