Customs Act 1901


Division 1 - Powers of officers  

Subdivision H - Arrest and related matters  



An officer of Customs or police may without warrant arrest a person if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that:

(a) the person has committed or is committing one or more of the following offences:

(i) an offence against subsection 33(1) or 33(5) ;

(ii) an offence against section 33C , 231 or 233 ;

(iii) an offence against subsection 233BAA(4) or (5) , 233BAB(5) or (6) , 233BABAB(1) , 233BABAC(1) or 233BABAD(1) , (2) , (2A) or (2B) ;

(iv) an offence against section 72.13 or Division 307 or 361 of the Criminal Code ;

(v) an offence against section 308.2 of the Criminal Code where the substance involved in the offence is reasonably suspected of having been imported into Australia, or being intended for export from Australia, in contravention of this Act;

(vi) an offence against section 147.1 , 147.2 or 149.1 of the Criminal Code in relation to an officer of Customs;

(vii) an offence against a provision in Subdivision 308-A in Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 ; and

(b) proceedings by summons against the person would not achieve one or more of the following purposes:

(i) ensuring the appearance of the person before a court in respect of the offence;

(ii) preventing a repetition or continuation of the offence or the commission of another offence;

(iii) preventing the concealment, loss or destruction of evidence relating to the offence;

(iv) preventing harassment of, or interference with, a person who may be required to give evidence in proceedings in respect of the offence;

(v) preventing the fabrication of evidence in respect of the offence;

(vi) preserving the safety or welfare of the person.


A person commits an offence if the person resists, obstructs or prevents the arrest of any person under this section.

Penalty: 10 penalty units.


(a) a person has been arrested for an offence under subsection (1); and

(b) before the person is charged with the offence, the officer of Customs or police in charge of the investigation ceases to believe on reasonable grounds:

(i) that the person committed the offence; or

(ii) that holding the person in custody is necessary to achieve a purpose referred to in paragraph (1)(b);

the person must be released.

An officer of Customs or police may without warrant arrest a person whom he or she believes on reasonable grounds has escaped from lawful custody to which the person is still liable under this Subdivision.

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