Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Home Affairs, the Honourable Bob Debus MP)
CUSTOMS AMENDMENT (ENHANCED BORDER CONTROLS AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2008
1. The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Customs Act 1901 (the Customs Act) to:
- amend the arrival reporting and stores and prohibited goods reporting requirements to exclude Saturdays from the reporting period (Schedule 1);
- insert an additional matter that must be stated in an infringement notice (Schedule 2);
- provide for an exception to the offence of failing to make a cargo report (Schedule 3);
- insert new provisions, including offences, dealing with missing goods and goods delivered into home consumption without authority (Schedule 4);
- harmonise the boarding powers with the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (Schedule 5);
- amend the impending arrival reporting requirements in relation to pleasure craft (Schedule 6);
- clarify the types of devices that can be used to enable to boarding of ship that has been the subject of a "hot pursuit" (Schedule 7);
- insert a new circumstance in which the commander of a Commonwealth aircraft can request the pilot of another aircraft to land (Schedule 8);
- extend the regime for the storage or taking into custody of prohibited weapons to all prohibited imports (Schedule 9);
- extend the power to seize goods without a warrant to goods on board a ship that are unaccounted for (Schedule 9);
- insert a regime supporting the current power of arrest, consistent with Crimes Act 1914 (Schedule 10);
- make a technical amendment to the matters that must be included in a search or seizure warrant (Schedule 11);
- insert a new offence for obstructing or interfering with Customs equipment (Schedule 12);
- extend the power to moor a Customs vessel to man-made structures (Schedule 13);
- extend the obligation to assist Customs officers to board a ship to the owner or operator of a port or port facility (Schedule 14);
- update the wording in section 58 (Schedule 15);
- extend the circumstances in which Customs officer may enter and remain upon certain areas (Schedule 16); and
- extend the matters that can be authorised in a search warrant or a seizure warrant and the powers that can be exercised by Customs officers and persons assisting when executing a warrant (Schedule 17).
2. The measures contained within this Bill, which have been developed in consultation with industry, are designed to ensure that the Australia Customs Service can continue to effectively perform its operational law enforcement and regulatory roles and functions in an increasingly complex and dynamic environment.
FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT
3. The Bill has no financial impact.
NOTES ON CLAUSES
Clause 1 - Short title
1. This clause provides for the Bill, when enacted, to be cited as the Customs Amendment (Enhanced Border Controls and Other Measures) Act 2008.
Clause 2 - Commencement
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Item 2 of the table provides that Schedules 1 and 2 commence on the day on which the Act receives the Royal Assent.
5. Item 3 of the table provides that Schedule 3 commences on the 28th day after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.
6. Item 4 of the table provides that Schedule 4 commences on a single day to be fixed by Proclamation. However, it also provides that if nay of the provision(s) do not commence within the period of 6 months beginning of the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, they commence on the first day after the end of that period.
7. Item 5 of the table provides that Schedules 5 to 11 commence on the 28th day after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.
8. Item 6 of the table provides that Schedule 12, item 1, commences on the 28th day after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.
9. Item 7 of the table provides that Schedule 12, item 2, commences immediately after the commencement of the provisions covered by table item 5. This item extends the arrest power to the new offence of obstructing or interfering with Customs equipment. This amendment cannot commence under the substituted power of arrest, which is contained in Schedule 10 of the Bill, commences.
10. Item 8 of the table provides that Schedules 13 and 14 commence on the 28th day after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.
11. Item 9 of the table provides that Schedule 15 commences on the day on which the Act receives the Royal Assent.
12. Item 10 of the table provides that Schedules 16 and 17 commence on the 28th day after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.
13. Subclause (2) provides that column 3 of the table contains additional information that is not part of the Act.
Clause 3 - Schedule(s)
14. 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.
15. 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.