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Old 04-04-2007, 10:20 AM   #1
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Please propogate as best you can that Australia now reguires yachts to give 96 hours advance notice of arrival.

A sad tale:

http://www.thecoastalpassage.com/manzaris.html

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Old 04-04-2007, 12:00 PM   #2
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This is indeed a sad tale and one which deserves to be told. As an Aussie, I am embarassed that well intentioned guests to our country receive such poor treatment at the hands of bureaucrats. Poor treatment of arriving guests to Oz has been documented on this site in the past, however it must be said that in ALL cases the criticisms posted to this site have been exclusively directed at officials supervising arrivals in the state of Queensland.

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Old 04-04-2007, 12:18 PM   #3
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@Auzzee

No need for you to be embarassed - the law is the law (no matter how crazy we may think it is). The important issue here is to make sure that cruisers are made aware of the law - so that the incident is not repeated.
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Old 04-07-2007, 08:01 AM   #4
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Heard this story and there are several web sites devoted to other boats which had the same predicament. Cost in each case was about $25,000 aussie dollars though all pled guilty. Fine of about $5,000 dollars and nearly $20,000 dollars for court costs. In 2 cases the owners had to sell their boats to pay the fees.

I had planned to spend next cyclone season in Australia but have changed my plans. I don't want to go there if the Aussie government doesn't want me. I don't want the financial risk. I know of several other cruisers which have changed plans and intend to summer in New Zealand.

http://www.noonsite.com/Members/doina/R2007-02-09-3
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:34 AM   #5
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wait a minute... i MUST be missing something.... so you show up without giving the "appropriate" advanced notice and they can detain and charge you... how does that work... if your not a citizen and haven't cleared customs wouldn't you just be denied entry and have to leave???

this is just scary... what other countries out there are doing this kind of thing... even the post on the "syrian saga" discussed them just being told to leave, since when could they prosecute you??
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Old 07-27-2007, 08:46 AM   #6
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Just a little thought, what wouldthe Oz Customs do in the case of force majeure ?

You are sailing along the coast (innocent passage, Law of the Sea Convention, Section 3, Article 18) having decided NOT to visit Oz because of the administrative hinders but because of imminent bad weather, sickness, malfunctioning equipment etc you enter an Oz port. This is force majeure and woud normaly be an excemption to the customs / immigration legislation.

As, normally, only the ship's master can declare a distress or force majeure situation then I believe Customs would just have to accept that.

I would not recommend this as a normal method of entry though as the authorities could simply give permission to remain inthe port until such time as repairs were executed, health iomproved etc. without granting permission to land or restricting one's movements to the port area.

Any comments or ideas?
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:56 AM   #7
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In cases of imminent peril, the Australian authorities would observe maritime protocol without doubt. Customs have obviously been given a directive to investigate everyone where possible in the light of the threat of terror attacks, and the fact that we are just 6 months away from a federal election. I think the government is anxious that they are seen to be doing something about those pesky foreigners.

On my recent arrival back from Japan, I was confronted on three separate occasions, by three separate officers, all from the same Oz government agency whilst I was waiting to collect my baggage from the carousel. The fact that I complained in a low key and courteous manner merely caused a degree of mirth among these blue suited warriors.

In a separate incident, I had some difficulty in convincing the government that two cruising friends on an Oz cruising permit had not reported to authorities in Mackay on time, because they had been at sea during two cyclones off the far north coast early this year. It was a matter of three days late...why should we extend your cruising permit? This was the subject of 10 emails, 3 phone calls, and two personal visits to Customs and Immigration, over and above the bureaucratic runaround given to my friends.

I think we need to pay our Customs officers more money, for I think we must pay to attract people with common sense.

David.
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
I think we need to pay our Customs officers more money, for I think we must pay to attract people with common sense.

David.
A sound comment pertaining not just to Australia but very many countries.

Aye

Stephen
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:33 AM   #9
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Jeeeez That’s a bit Harsh !

Please correct me someone if im wrong but doesn’t all the countries sit in a big room so many times a year to discuss maritime law and coll regs in Vienna? I was always under the impression that international maritime agreements with all countries that International Code Flag or Signalling Flag Q will be raised upon entry into foreign waters and will stay raised for 48 hours, hence the 48 notice etc. Further to that also approach a marina office or customs point, fill out entry form and provide passports for all crew.

Jeez this could provide a pickle for some people, I for one have never heard of this new 96 Hour time.

Would be interesting to see what Australian Maritime guidelines may have been changed against international agreement.

If anyone knows where there may be some info or documentation on line please post., would be good to add to my folio.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:53 AM   #10
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Just found this in one of the other posts...

explains a bit about the process..

I understand that the Customs is doing a sterling job but this only going to cause problems for people obeying international set agreement. The government should do more to advertise the ruling in Foreign ports before entry into Australia.

http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/ind...showtopic=4556
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:08 PM   #11
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The 96 hour advance notice ruling is not as harsh as it seems. Notice must be given up to 96 hours prior to entry. It is therefore possible to give notice of impending arrival at your last port of call before entering Oz....even if it is a week or two prior.

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Old 09-18-2007, 02:07 AM   #12
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Having entered Australian ports many times I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with Aussie Customs as they have been polite, friendly and efficient about replying to queries. I did notice a lot of tightening up on enforcement after Bali and 9/11 so that the discretion was taken away from the local officers, but that is to be expected in these times.



What happened to these people was unfortunate as they sailed into tightening regulations and it sounds like a directive was given to make an example within the yachtie community, who frequently plead ignorance about “rules”.

These up to date rules are clearly stated in the Customs website http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm under “Yachts travelling to and from Australia” and it is the legal responsibility of any captain to have researched and notified any foreign port of their intent to enter and to have received permission and directions to do so Before they Depart, from world communications!

If these people showed up at the dock, ignoring Quarantine protocols and just said to the local officers …”were here, what do we do?”, I can imagine that it would anger the Customs and Quarantine Departments.

The big lesson to be learned from this is not to trust any backwoods consulate and to go right to the Federal source for directions.

As this case demonstrates, good intentions do not absolve you from pre-filing a passage plan and confirming with authorities that you can proceed.
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post

These up to date rules are clearly stated in the Customs website http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm under "Yachts travelling to and from Australia" and it is the legal responsibility of any captain to have researched and notified any foreign port of their intent to enter and to have received permission and directions to do so Before they Depart, from world communications!

The big lesson to be learned from this is not to trust any backwoods consulate and to go right to the Federal source for directions.
I've encountered a variety of bad (and also good) consulates and embassies in our travels, including those of the US. When we were crossing the S. Pacific there was no up-to-date information obtained on the Internet, because there was no Internet. The various Australian embassies/consulates were variable in their efficiency and helpfulness, and the lack of correct information to this couple is not surprising - we found the same lack of information and support in the New Caledonia consulate in 1993.

the disgrace is that the Australian government pursued severe penalties for this boat when its own house was not in order.

I'm of the opinion that the more inefficient the bureaucracy, the stricter that bureacracy is to punish those who fail to follow their rules, even those they've failed to inform anyone about. Those "backwoods" consulates are supposed to be the Federal source for directions.

This is just a sad story.

By the way, the nicest, most courteous and helpful consulate I've visited was the Peruvian consulate in Boston.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:37 AM   #14
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Forget 'backwoods' consulates etc....I have been trying to get information about the rumoured bond requirement for foreign yachts visiting Indonesia. I sent a letter to the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra (not some poxy little consulate) and have received a response after almost two months.

The Embassy told me to contact the Indonesian Consulate in Darwin for up-to-date information. I called the Consulate and was told..."Don't know about any bond, call the Darwin Sailing Club, they will know".

I called the DSC and was given the correct and entirely appropriate response..."You'll have to speak with the Embassy in Canberra".

So....Back to square one.

David.
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