Customs Act 1901


Division 1 - Powers of officers  

Subdivision D - Seizure of goods believed to be forfeited goods  


203B(1)   [Special forfeited goods at Customs place]  

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).

203B(2)   [Power of authorised person at Customs place]  

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.

203B(2A)   [Power to search designated container]  

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).

203B(2B)   [Person in possession must be present]  

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.

203B(2C)   [Seizure of goods after search of a person]  

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.

203B(3)   [Seizure of evidential material]  

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.

203B(4)   [Authorised person may question any person]  

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.

203B(5)   [Exercise of powers]  

The authorised person must exercise his or her powers subject to section 203D.


Disclaimer and notice of copyright applicable to materials provided by CCH Australia Limited

CCH Australia Limited ("CCH") believes that all information which it has provided in this site is accurate and reliable, but gives no warranty of accuracy or reliability of such information to the reader or any third party. The information provided by CCH is not legal or professional advice. To the extent permitted by law, no responsibility for damages or loss arising in any way out of or in connection with or incidental to any errors or omissions in any information provided is accepted by CCH or by persons involved in the preparation and provision of the information, whether arising from negligence or otherwise, from the use of or results obtained from information supplied by CCH.

The information provided by CCH includes history notes and other value-added features which are subject to CCH copyright. No CCH material may be copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any way, except that you may download one copy for your personal use only, provided you keep intact all copyright and other proprietary notices. In particular, the reproduction of any part of the information for sale or incorporation in any product intended for sale is prohibited without CCH's prior consent.