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House of Representatives

Customs Amendment (Strengthening Border Controls) Bill 2008

Explanatory Memorandum

Circulated By Authority of the Minister For Home Affairs, the Honourable Bob Debus MP


1. The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Customs Act 1901 (the Customs Act) to:

allow a person to surrender certain prohibited imports that have not been concealed; and
allow for the granting of post-importation permissions for certain prohibited imports; and
allow infringement notices to be served for certain offences including importing certain prohibited imports, and border security related offences; and
enable Customs officers boarding a ship or aircraft to conduct personal searches for, and take possession of, weapons or evidence of specified offences.


2. The Bill has no financial impact.


Clause 1 - Short title

3. This clause provides for the Bill, when enacted, to be cited as the Customs Amendment (Strengthening Border Controls) Act 2008 .

Clause 2 - Commencement

4. Subclause (1) provides that each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table in that subclause commences, or is taken to have commenced, on the day or at the time specified in column 2 of the table. This subclause also provides that any other statement in column 2 of the table has effect according to its terms.

5. Item 1 of the table provides that sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by the table will commence on the day on which the Act receives the Royal Assent.

6. Item 2 of the table provides that Schedule 1 commences on a single day to be fixed by Proclamation. However, if any of the provision(s) do not commence within the period of 6 months beginning on the day on which the Act receives Royal Assent, the provision(s) will commence on the first day after the end of that period. The proposed amendments in Schedule 1 require regulations to be made before the amendments have any effect. It is, therefore, proposed to delay the commencement of this Schedule to provide time for the regulations to be made.

7. Item 3 of the table provides that Schedule 2 commences on the 28th day after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

8. Subclause (2) provides that column 3 of the table contains additional information that is not part of the Act.

Clause 3 - Schedule(s )

9. This clause is the formal enabling provision for the Schedule to the Bill, providing that each Act specified in a Schedule is amended in accordance with the applicable items of the Schedule. In this Bill, the Customs Act is being amended.

10. The clause also provides that the other items of the Schedules have effect according to their terms. This is a standard enabling clause for transitional, savings and application items in amending legislation.

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