Section 64AB of the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) deals with Cargo Reports and is extracted below.
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64AB Cargo reports
(1) This section applies to a ship or aircraft in respect of a voyage or flight to Australia from a place outside Australia.
(2) If the ship or aircraft is due to arrive at its first port or airport in Australia since it last departed from a port or airport outside Australia, each cargo reporter must report to Customs, in accordance with this section, particulars of all goods:
(a) that the cargo reporter has arranged to be carried on the ship or aircraft on the voyage or flight; and
(b) that are intended to be unloaded from the ship or aircraft at a port or airport in Australia (whether the first port or airport or any subsequent port or airport on the same voyage or flight); and
(c) that are not:
(i) accompanied personal or household effects of a passenger or member of the crew; or
(ii) ship’s stores or aircraft’s stores.
(2A) If the ship or aircraft is due to arrive at its first port, or airport, in Australia since it last called at a port, or departed from an airport, outside Australia, each cargo reporter must report to Customs, in accordance with this section, particulars of all goods that the cargo reporter has arranged to be carried on the ship or aircraft and that are intended to be kept on board the ship or aircraft for shipment on to a place outside Australia, other than:
(a) goods that are accompanied personal or household effects of a passenger or member of the crew; or
(b) ship’s stores or aircraft’s stores.
(3) A cargo report that is made by a person during the general moratorium period, or is made by a person during a further moratorium period that has been granted to the person, may be a documentary report or an electronic report.
(4) A cargo report to which subsection (3) does not apply must be an electronic report.
(4A) A documentary cargo report must:
(a) be in writing; and
(b) be in an approved form; and
(c) be communicated to Customs by sending or giving it to an officer doing duty in relation to the reporting of ships or aircraft at the port or airport at which the ship or aircraft is expected to arrive; and
(d) contain such information as is required by the form; and
(e) be signed in a manner specified in the form.
(4B) An electronic cargo report must communicate such information as is set out in an approved statement.
(5) If the information required by an approved form to be contained in a documentary cargo report, or required by an approved statement to be communicated electronically, refers to particulars of the consignor or consignee of goods:
(a) in the case of a report under subsection (2)—the reference in the form or statement to the consignor of goods is a reference to a supplier of goods who is located outside Australia and:
(i) initiates the sending of goods to a person in Australia; or
(ii) complies with a request from a person in Australia to send goods to the person; and
(aa) in the case of a report under subsection (2A)—the reference in the form or statement to the consignor of goods is a reference to a supplier of goods who is located outside Australia and:
(i) initiates the sending of goods to a person in a place outside Australia; or
(ii) complies with a request from a person in a place outside Australia to send goods to the person; and
(b) in any case—the reference in the form or statement to the consignee of goods is a reference to the person who is the ultimate recipient of goods that have been sent from outside Australia, whether or not the person ordered or paid for the goods.
(6) The CEO may approve different forms or statements for the cargo reports to be made in different circumstances or by different kinds of cargo reporters.
(7) The form or statement approved for a report by a special reporter in relation to low value cargo of a particular kind must not require the special reporter to include information relating to cargo of that kind at a level of specificity below the level of a submaster air waybill or an ocean bill of lading, as the case requires.
(7A) The form or statement approved for a report by a re mail reporter in relation to re mail items must not require the reporter to include information relating to re mail items at a level of specificity below the level of a submaster air waybill or an ocean bill of lading, as the case requires.
Note: This means that a re mail reporter using the approved form or statement does not have to give information about individual re mail items.
(7B) However, a re mail reporter must not use that approved form or statement for a re mail item for which the reporter has information below that level of specificity.
Note: A re mail reporter who does not use the approved form or statement for re mail items must provide information about individual re mail items in a cargo report.
(8) A cargo report is to be made not later than:
(a) if the cargo is carried on a ship:
(i) the start of the prescribed period; or
(ii) if the journey from the last port is of a kind described in regulations made for the purposes of this subparagraph—the start of the shorter period that is specified in those regulations;
before the estimated time of arrival of the ship at the first port in Australia since it last departed from a port outside Australia; or
(b) if the cargo is carried on an aircraft:
(i) 2 hours or such other period as is prescribed by the regulations; or
(ii) if the flight from the last airport is of a kind described in regulations made for the purposes of this subparagraph—such shorter period as is specified in those regulations;
before the estimated time of arrival specified in the report under section 64 of the impending arrival of the aircraft at the first airport in Australia since it last departed from an airport outside Australia.
(8A) Regulations made for the purposes of paragraph (8)(a) may prescribe matters of a transitional nature (including prescribing any saving or application provisions) arising out of the making of regulations for those purposes.
(9) A cargo reporter who intentionally contravenes this section commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a penalty not exceeding 120 penalty units.
(10) A cargo reporter who contravenes this section commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a penalty not exceeding 60 penalty units.
(11) An offence against subsection (10) is an offence of strict liability.
(a) a cargo reporter who is required to make a cargo report in respect of particular goods commits an offence against this section because the report is not made before the time by which it was required by subsection (8) to be made; and
(b) that time occurs before the end of the general moratorium period or, if a further moratorium period is granted to the cargo reporter, before the end of the further moratorium period;
the cargo reporter is not liable to be prosecuted for the offence and an infringement notice cannot be served on the cargo reporter under Subdivision A of Division 5 of Part XIII for the offence.
(13) The general moratorium period is the period of 6 months beginning on the date of commencement of this section.
(a) a cargo reporter applies to the CEO for the grant to the cargo reporter of a further moratorium period to have effect at the end of the general moratorium period; and
(b) the CEO is satisfied that the cargo reporter has, within the general moratorium period, made reasonable progress in:
(i) installing the facilities required for the making of electronic cargo reports; or
(ii) in putting in place business practices or entering into business arrangements to enable the making of electronic cargo reports;
the CEO may grant to the cargo reporter a further moratorium period of not more than 18 months beginning at the end of the general moratorium period.
(14A) A cargo reporter who is required to make a cargo report in respect of particular goods is not liable to be prosecuted for, and cannot be served with an infringement notice under Division 5 of Part XIII for, an offence against this section if:
(a) the cargo reporter made a cargo report, but contravened subsection (8) because the report was not made before the start of a certain period; and
(b) the time (the actual time of arrival) at which the ship or aircraft in question arrived at the first port or airport in Australia since it last departed from a port or airport outside Australia was later than the estimated time of arrival referred to in subsection (8); and
(c) the cargo reporter would not have contravened subsection (8) if the estimated time of arrival of the ship or aircraft had been its actual time of arrival.
(15) Nothing in this section affects the operation of Subdivision C.
(16) In this section:
aircraft’s stores and ship’s stores have the meanings given by section 130C.
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