Important information

Legislative changes to arrival reports

The Customs Act 1901 has been updated with effect from 11 July 2009 to create more flexibility for people travelling by pleasure craft to report their intention to come to Australia within the required timeframe.

The legislation allows travellers by pleasure craft more time to report their arrival into Australia. Travellers can now report their arrival up to 90 days before their vessel's estimated time of arrival at the first Australian port.

Until now all vessels were expected to report their impending arrival within 10 days of estimated time of arrival.  This application was only ever intended to apply to vessels carrying cargo. The Department has never enforced this requirement for pleasure craft, and this legislation change removes any ambiguity.

All travellers by boat are still required to report their arrival no later than 96 hours before estimated time of arrival. This requirement has not changed, nor has the sliding scale if the voyage is shorter than 96 hours.

The information and reporting requirements for impending arrivals has not changed. For further information see Let us know you're coming.

As the Department receives very few pleasure craft impending arrival reports earlier than 90 days before estimated time of arrival, there is likely to be very little impact on pleasure craft and crew. 

In summary, other than for very short voyages, the window available to report your impending arrival in Australia will be between four and 90 days.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact seaports@border.gov.au


* Pleasure craft definition:
pleasure craft means a ship that from the time of its arrival at its first port of arrival in Australia from a place outside Australia until the time of its departure from its last port of departure in Australia is:
 (a) used or intended to be used wholly for recreational activities, sporting activities or both; and
 (b) not used or intended to be used for any commercial activity; and
 (c) not offered or intended to be offered for sale or disposal.