Customs Act 1901
This section applies in 2 circumstances, namely:
(a) in a circumstance where an authorised person suspects on reasonable grounds that there are special forfeited goods:
(i) at, or in a container (other than a designated container in the immediate physical possession of a person to whom subparagraph (b)(i) applies) at, a Customs place; or
(ii) in, on, or in a container (other than a designated container in the immediate physical possession of a person to whom subparagraph (b)(i) applies) on, a conveyance at a Customs place; or
(b) in a circumstance where a person:
(i) is at a Customs place that is also a designated place; and
(ii) has a designated container, or has goods reasonably suspected by an authorised person to be special forfeited goods, in his or her immediate physical possession; but
(iii) is not carrying that container or those goods on his or her body.
Note 1: Container and designated container have special definitions for the purposes only of this Division.
Note 2: The baggage of a passenger entering or leaving Australia or of the captain or crew of a vessel or aircraft so entering or leaving is not a designated container.
Note 3: To determine the question whether a person is carrying a designated container, or goods reasonably suspected of being special forfeited goods, on his or her body, see subsection 4(19).
In the circumstance referred to in paragraph (1)(a), the authorised person may, without warrant:
(a) search the Customs place, or the container at that place, for special forfeited goods; or
(b) stop and detain at the Customs place the conveyance and search it and any container on it for special forfeited goods;
as the case requires, and seize any goods that the authorised person reasonably suspects are special forfeited goods if the authorised person finds them there.
In the circumstance referred to in paragraph (1)(b), an authorised person who is an officer of Customs may, without warrant:
(a) search any designated container in the immediate physical possession of the person to whom that paragraph applies; and
(b) seize any goods reasonably suspected by the authorised person of being special forfeited goods (whether or not those goods are found as a result of such a search).
An authorised person must not exercise the powers referred to in subsection (2A) unless the person having immediate physical possession of the container to be searched is present at the time when the container is searched.
For the avoidance of doubt, the power of the authorised person under subsection (2) to seize, without warrant, goods found as a result of a search of, or at, a Customs place that are reasonably suspected of being special forfeited goods includes the power to seize, without warrant, any goods that:
(a) have been produced as a result of a frisk search of a person; or
(b) have been discovered on the body of a person as a result of an external search or an internal search of the person;
if the search is conducted under Division 1B at the Customs place and the goods are reasonably so suspected.
If, in the course of searching under subsection (2) or (2A) for special forfeited goods, an authorised person finds a thing that the authorised person believes on reasonable grounds is evidential material relating to an offence committed in respect of those special forfeited goods, the authorised person may, without warrant, seize that thing whether or not the authorised person has found any such special forfeited goods.
For the purposes of a search conducted under subsection (2) or (2A), the authorised person may question any person apparently in charge of the place, conveyance or container about any goods or thing at the place, in or on the conveyance, or in the container.
The authorised person must exercise his or her powers subject to section 203D.
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