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House of Representatives

Customs Legislation Amendment (Criminal Sanctions and Other Measures) Bill 2000

Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone)


The purpose of the amendments to Schedule 1 of the Customs Legislation Amendment (Criminal Sanctions and Other Measures) Bill 2000 (the Bill) is to require the Australian Customs Service (Customs) to establish and maintain, in the manner prescribed, a record of all articles removed from the normal course of carriage and opened by an officer of Customs.

The purpose of the amendments to Schedule 2 of the Bill is to:

reduce the number of days that things seized as evidential material by an officer of Customs or an authorised person can be retained, from 180 days to 120 days;
remove the power of the person ordering an external search to direct that prescribed equipment may be used to conduct that search;
introduce a requirement that where Chief Executive Officer of Customs (the CEO) consults with Commonwealth authorities in relation to equipment that Customs proposes to use in external searches, the CEO must lay before each House of the Parliament a copy of any advice received from those authorities within 7 sitting days of that House after the day on which the statement is given to the Minister;
introduce a requirement to prescribe the method of secure storage of videotapes or other electronic records of an external search or any photographs, images or samples referred to in proposed paragraphs 219RAF(1)(b), (c) or (d);
introduce a new category of goods that constitute tier 2 goods; and
re-introduce constraints on certain courts in setting pecuniary penalties for Customs prosecutions. The constraints will be modified by increasing current limits.

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