Your stay

When you arrive in Australia, there are a number of clearance options depending on when you intend to leave. If you intend to leave within twelve months, you may be granted a Control Permit, asked to provide a security for temporary importation or to formally import the craft. See the Clearance Options for Visiting Small craft factsheet for more information.

All options provide access to Australian waters and lands.

Control Permits

A Control Permit will be issued to the Master of the craft if the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is satisfied the craft is transiting Australia for non-commercial purposes. Control Permits may be issued for a period of 12 months, or the length of the Master's visa, whichever is less. Extension of the permit may be granted on application, provided that you meet eligibility requirements and have an appropriate visa.

A person eligible to apply for a Control Permit must be a tourist or a temporary resident of Australia. Australian citizens are not eligible for a Control Permit unless they have overseas residency. Satisfactory evidence of overseas residency is required.

For a Control Permit to be issued, the craft must meet the following criteria:

  • the craft must have arrived from overseas and will be scheduled to depart for overseas
  • the craft must have arrived under its own power and not as cargo
  • the craft must be transiting Australia for non-commercial purposes i.e. is not engaged in the commercial carriage of cargo or passengers
  • the craft may be privately or corporately owned (however, a Control Permit is not granted where a craft is owned by a corporation and more than 50% of the owners of the corporation are Australian residents)
  • the craft must not be employed for any activities of a commercial nature (e.g. charter, hire or lease)
  • the craft, or parts of the craft, are not to be offered for sale, sold or otherwise disposed of.

However, the craft may remain in Australia for repair or refit.

Control Permits are not issued if the vessel is owned or operated by an Australian resident unless exceptional circumstances apply.

If circumstances of the craft's presence in Australia change, you are required to advise DIBP. Failure to do so can result in a Control Permit being revoked and the vessel being deemed imported at which time payment of duty and tax will be required.

What if the Master wants to fly home and come back later?

This is possible but you must advise DIBP and make arrangements for appropriate control over the vessel.

Further information can be obtained from the DIBP office at your intended port of arrival. See details on the Ports of Entry page.


Temporary importation of vessels

If your visa allows you to reside in Australia for a limited period you may be required to temporarily import a craft into Australia. Temporary importation without paying customs duty and tax is subject to:

  • The vessel being exported within 12 months of arrival; and
  • A security in cash or an appropriate bank guarantee being provided equal to the duty and tax that would otherwise be payable.

When do I get my security back?

If a cash security has been given and a cash refund is sought it will be necessary for you to give advance notice to DIBP at the proposed port of departure before you leave.

Further information can be obtained from the DIBP office at your intended port of arrival. See details on the Ports of Entry page.


Formal Importation

If you are an Australia citizen, permanent resident of Australia or migrating to Australia on a craft purchased outside Australia, importation of the craft is required.  Customs duty and tax are payable on any craft imported into Australia upon its arrival.