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Section 64ACA Customs Act 1901
Passenger Reports

Section 64ACA of the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) deals with Passenger Reports and is extracted below.

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The Legislation

64ACA Passenger reports

Obligation to report on passengers

(1) The operator of a ship or aircraft that is due to arrive, from a place outside Australia, at a port or airport in Australia (whether it is the first or any subsequent port or airport of the voyage or flight) must report to Customs on each passenger who will be on board the ship or aircraft at the time of its arrival at the port or airport.

Note 1: This obligation (and the obligation in subsection (11)) must be complied with even if the information concerned is personal information (as defined in the Privacy Act 1988).
Note 2: See also section 64ACC, which deals with what happens if information has already been reported to the Migration Department.
Note 3: Section 64ACD contains an offence for failure to comply with this subsection.

How report is to be given—certain operators to use an approved electronic system

(2) If one of the following paragraphs applies, the operator must give the report by the electronic system approved for the operator for the purposes of this subsection:
(a) the ship is on a voyage for transporting persons:
(i) that is provided for a fee payable by those using it; and
(ii) the operator of which is prescribed by the regulations;
and the CEO has, in writing, approved an electronic system for the operator for the purposes of this subsection;
(b) the aircraft is on a flight that is provided as part of an airline service:
(i) that is provided for a fee payable by those using it; and
(ii) that is provided in accordance with fixed schedules to or from fixed terminals over specific routes; and
(iii) that is available to the general public on a regular basis;
and the CEO has, in writing, approved an electronic system for the operator for the purposes of this subsection.

Note 1: An instrument approving an electronic system can be varied or revoked under subsection 33(3) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.
Note 2: An instrument approving an electronic system, or a variation or revocation of such an instrument, is a disallowable instrument—see subsection (10).

(3) However, if the approved electronic system is not working, then the operator must give the report as if subsection (4) applied.

How report to is be given—other operators

(4) The operator of any other ship or aircraft may give the report by document or electronically.

(5) If the report relates to a ship, it must be given not later than:
(a) the start of the prescribed period before its estimated time of arrival; or
(b) if the journey is of a kind described in regulations made for the purposes of this paragraph—the start of the shorter period before its estimated time of arrival that is specified in those regulations.

(5A) Regulations made for the purposes of subsection (5) may prescribe matters of a transitional nature (including prescribing any saving or application provisions) arising out of the making of regulations for those purposes.

Deadline for giving report—aircraft

(6) If the report relates to an aircraft, it must be given not later than:
(a) if the flight from the last airport outside Australia is likely to take not less than 3 hours—3 hours; or
(b) if the flight from the last airport outside Australia is likely to take less than 3 hours—one hour;
before the time stated in the report made under section 64 to be the estimated time of arrival of the aircraft.

Other requirements for documentary reports

(7) If the report is given by document, it must:
(a) be in writing; and
(b) be in an approved form; and
(c) contain such information as is required by the form; and
(d) be signed in a manner specified in the form; and
(e) 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.

Other requirements for electronic reports

(8) If the report is given electronically (whether or not by an electronic system approved for the purposes of subsection (2)), it must communicate such information as is set out in an approved statement.

Different forms and statements for different circumstances etc.

(9) The CEO may approve different forms for documentary reports, and different statements for electronic reports, to be made under subsections (7) and
(8) in different circumstances, by different kinds of operators of ships or aircraft or in respect of different kinds of ships or aircraft.

Approvals of electronic systems for the purposes of subsection (2) are disallowable instruments

(10) An instrument of approval of an electronic system for the purposes of subsection (2), or a variation or revocation of such an instrument, is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Obligation to pass information on to Migration Department

(11) As soon as practicable after information is reported under this section, Customs must provide the information to the Department administered by the Minister who administers the Migration Act 1958.

Purpose for which information obtained

(12) Information obtained by Customs:
(a) under this section; or
(b) under subsection 245L(6) of the Migration Act 1958;
is taken to be obtained by Customs for the purposes of the administration of this Act, the Migration Act 1958, and any other law of the Commonwealth prescribed by regulations for the purposes of this subsection.


(1) An operator of a ship or aircraft who intentionally contravenes section 64ACA or 64ACB commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a penalty not exceeding 120 penalty units.

(2) An operator of a ship or aircraft who contravenes section 64ACA or 64ACB commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a penalty not exceeding 60 penalty units.

(3) An offence against subsection (2) is an offence of strict liability.

Note: For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

(4) An operator of an aircraft or ship commits a separate offence under subsection (1) or (2) in relation to each passenger or member of the crew in relation to whom the operator contravenes section 64ACA or 64ACB.

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