Section 234 Customs Act 1901 | Customs Offences


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The Legislation

Section 234 of the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) deals with Customs Offences and is extracted below.

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234 Customs offences

(1) A person shall not:

(a) Evade payment of any duty which is payable;
(b) Obtain any drawback, refund, rebate or remission which is not payable;
(d) do any of the following:

(i) intentionally make or cause to be made a statement to an officer, reckless as to the fact that the statement is false or misleading in a material particular;
(ii) intentionally omit or cause to be omitted from a statement made to an officer any matter or thing, reckless as to the fact that without the matter or thing the statement is misleading in a material particular;
(iii) intentionally give information to another person, knowing that the information is false or misleading in a material particular and that the other person or someone else will include the information in a statement to an officer;
(iv) intentionally give information to another person, knowing that the information is misleading in a material particular because of the omission of other information that the person has and that the other person or someone else will include the information in a statement to an officer;

(e) Sell or offer for sale, any goods upon the pretence that such goods are prohibited imports or smuggled goods.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence punishable upon conviction:

(a) in the case of an offence against paragraph (1)(a), by:

(i) where the Court can determine the amount of the duty on goods the payment of which would have been evaded by the commission of the offence if the goods had been entered for home consumption on:

(A) where the date on which the offence was committed is known to the Court—that date; or
(B) where that date is not known to the Court—the date on which prosecution for the offence was instituted;
a penalty not exceeding 5 times the amount of that duty and not less than 2 times that amount; or

(ii) where the Court cannot determine the amount of that duty, a penalty not exceeding 500 penalty units;

(b) in the case of an offence against paragraph (1)(b), by a penalty not exceeding 5 times the amount of drawback, refund, rebate or remission that was obtained by the commission of the offence and not less than 2 times that amount;
(c) subject to subsection (3), in the case of an offence against paragraph (1)(d), by a penalty not exceeding 100 penalty units; or
(d) in the case of an offence against paragraph (1)(h), by a penalty not exceeding 10 penalty units.

(2A) Where an export entry, a submanifest, an outward manifest or a withdrawal of such an entry, submanifest or manifest is taken, under section 119D, to have been communicated to Customs, then, for the purposes of paragraph (1)(d), the part of the communication constituting the transmission to Customs is treated as a statement made to the CEO.

(2B) Where an import entry, a withdrawal of such an entry, or a return for the purposes of subsection 69(8), subsection 70(7) or section 105C is taken, under section 71L, to have been communicated to Customs, then, for the purposes of paragraph (1) (d), the part of the communication constituting the transmission to Customs is treated as a statement made to the CEO.

(2BA) If an application for a refund, rebate or remission of duty is taken, under regulations made for the purposes of subsection 163(1AB), to have been communicated to Customs, then, for the purposes of paragraph (1)(d), the part of the communication constituting the transmission to Customs is treated as a statement made to the CEO.

(2BB) An application communicated by computer under section 162AA to Customs is taken for the purposes of paragraph (1)(d) to be a statement to the CEO.

(2BC) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(d), information provided to Customs under section 71 in the circumstances mentioned in section 71AAAB is taken to be a statement made to the CEO.

(2C) Nothing in subsection (2A), (2B), (2BA), (2BB) or (2BC) is to be taken to affect the operation of any of the provisions of section 183.

(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence against paragraph (1)(d) in relation to a statement made, or an omission from a statement made, in respect of the amount of duty payable on particular goods, a Court may, in relation to that offence, impose a penalty not exceeding the sum of 50 penalty units and twice the amount of the duty payable on those goods.