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 Oct. 24, 2010: Customs Can Not Arbitrarily Board Your Vessel! TCP is not the only one who vehemently disagrees with Customs audacious interpretation of the law. Mr Terry O'Gorman of the Queensland council for Civl liberties agrees; "My view after reading the act is that customs does not have the power to board Australian yachts in Australian waters without the owners express permission." Read more here.

This Battle Has Been Won?

July 15 2010, Customs Strike Again. Watch your backside.
 Update as of September 09, information an entering yacht should know; In the last year many letters have been received and published by TCP reporting on positive experiences entering via yacht. While these are good to have the problem is good experience isn't yet universal. Customs enforcement is regionally controlled. The Queensland district has been the area of concern from the start. Even in Queensland it seems it is also the personnel at the particular port. Working from the same set of laws, other districts have had no reports while Queensland has made headlines and a few ports have had repetitive confrontations. Bundaberg exceeds the rest. Complicating the matter there, a marina manager is on record stating that boats should be subject to the harsh treatment experienced by some boats there (forced removal of crew with destructive search) and that any port that doesn't operate similarly is derelict in their duty. An official in the local sailing club that is involved in international regattas is reported to be a former AQIS agent herself and supportive of the harsh treatment of entering yachts. This person is on record as stating as long as most entering yachts are treated well there should be no complaint! False rumours concerning persons charged by customs at Bundaberg have been propagated through the web via forums with sources claimed to be from Bundaberg. Bundaberg is an excellent choice for entry for every other reason except the bureaucracy and a few local business people. Once in town and up river, boats will find one of the best seasonal shelters and provisioning centres in Australia. Most boats do report positively but it does seem to be a matter of chance.. do you feel lucky? If not, expect hostility from some of the locals (see TCP # 34 pgs10-11 and TCP # 35 pgs10-11-12). Brisbane and Cairns have also had multiple negative reports. Gladstone, Mackay and Bowen have no reports and Townsville and Mooloolaba have nothing serious on their record. None of the vessels charged by customs over the last several years has been charged with any offence other than administrative. In fact one has to look back over a decade ago to find a noteworthy smuggling reported via yacht whilst reports of heroin or cocaine arrests come from airports and commercial shipping depots daily. Yacht crews are extraordinarily law abiding. To view some of the positive accounts of entry see the letters section in TCP #'s 27, 29 , 33 and the latest issue, # 38 has a good report from a Norwegian vessel. TCP reports have been factual! TCP has never been forced to make a correction in reportage on any subject due to error or neglect. However, in an article taking information from Bundaberg sources on Customs issues, the magazine Cruising Helmsman, was requested and did correct errors regarding comments mistakenly attributed and to pay TCP for legal costs. (TCP# 35 pgs 4 &10) IT should be noted... from the material above that most Customs personnel are decent people. What the above does show is that bad legislation in the hands of idiots is dangerous.

 This is a collection of research and yacht crew's reported experiences with Australian Customs

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Customs Strikes Again!

The latest conviction reveals the period of peace is over. Yachts take note.

 Customs Searches of Vessels by Andrew Crawford

Why do Customs want to prevent yacht crew from recording a search? What do Customs have to hide?

 Brutal Customs... a report from three convicted "terror" yachties

This is the report from TCP # 23 that exposed the first rash of prosecutions

 Dangerous Customs

This is a report about what happened when heavy handed Customs agents harassed a vessel skippered by an attorney that had helped write the rules they were breaking at the time!

 Customs Response

TCP wrote to customs with questions of why and how. Their answer may not add up, you decide.

 Customs Notice

Why didn't anyone know about this change of rule? Want to see what Customs considered appropriate publication? You may not believe it!

 Creating Legislation via Courts.

Conjecture on how Customs used strategic court cases to invent law that wasn't there.

 Terror Yachties Attack Queensland!

A light hearted piece that gives Customs all the respect they deserve... if not more.

How other countries Compare and Why Customs is Wrong

TCP examines the background of the Customs regs and compares with other countries, US, Israel, etc

 Australian Customs versus American cruisers.

This is the story of the Manzari's. The only boat to stand and fight and a report of the appeal

 Other letters received by TCP commenting on Customs

These are but a small sampling of the letters received from all over the world

 The Psychology of Customs and Quarantine.. why are they acting the way they do?

A fascinating essay by Isaac Williamson of SY Bon Accord with recommended letters to Customs and Quarantine to address the issues. This is very good!

 The above articles and pages are representative of the reports TCP has been getting over the last several years. This is not a complete assemblage by any means and when there is time it may be expanded to include other articles published.