We have been advised that from 1st July 2004 the transitional period of the requirement for all crew of non-military ships entering Australian waters to carry a passport and identity document for presentation at immigration clearance ends.
The identity document must show and confirm the person concerned as a seafarer employed on that ship. The passport and document must be located on the ship as it enters Australia at a proclaimed port or a place other than a proclaimed port, if permission for it to do so has been granted by the Australian Customs Service.
Under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), authorised officers of the Department of Immigration now have the authority to impose a penalty on the master, owner, agent and charterer of a ship due to crew members’ non-compliance. In one recent case an Infringement Notice was issued to the local agent of a foreign ship for the failure of a crew member to be in possession of the required identity document. The agent has been fined AUS$5,000.00, which must be paid within 28 days.
In these circumstances it seems clear that the Department of Immigration is now determined to enforce the new requirements regarding identification documents. Therefore, care should be taken to ensure that all crew of non-military ships entering Australian waters carry with them the required documentation.
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