With our in house customs brokerage division, DAZMAC specialises in customs clearance of boats and yachts sailing into Australia under their own power. Dazmac can arrange clearance through Australian Customs and Quarantine, as well as provide assistance in CFC permit applications and further quarantine treatments like thermal imaging.

All boats or yachts sailing into Australia with the intent of selling, or offering for sale are required by Australian customs law to pay the applicable customs duties and taxes upon arrival. Information on your import options can be found here.

Australian customs have ports of entry which are monitored by themselves and Australian Quarantine for boats and yachts sailing into Australia.

These ports are;

  • New South Wales: Sydney, Port Kembla, Newcastle, Lord Howe & Coffs Harbour
  • Northern Territory: Darwin & Gove
  • Queensland: Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Thursday Island, Townsville & Weipa
  • South Australia: Port Adelaide & Port Lincoln
  • Tasmania: Hobart, Launceston, Burnie & Devonport
  • Victoria: Melbourne, Geelong, Portland & Westernport
  • Western Australia: Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Carnarvon, Dampier, Esperance, Fremantle, Geraldton & Port Hedland.

It is a requirement of Australian law that Australian customs are notified a minimum of 96 hours before arrival of a boat of yacht sailing into Australia to any one of the above Australian ports. This rule is enforced and yacht owners failing to notify customs can be prosecuted resulting in possible criminal conviction, a fine, legal expenses or delays.

96 Hours notice is provided to customs by;

  • Sending an email to yachtreport@customs.gov.au
  • Sending a fax to: +61 2 6275 6331
  • Phoning the Australian Customs National Communications Centre +61 3 9244 8973

You will need to provide the following information:-

  • The name of your craft
  • Your intended first port of arrival
  • Your estimated arrival time
  • Your last four (4) ports of call
  • The details of all people aboard incl. name, date of birth, nationality and passport number.
  • Details of any illnesses or disease recently encountered.
  • If you have any animals on board.
  • If you have any firearms on board.
  • The above info is completed on a Small craft arrival form here

Yacht and Boat Importing

Boats and yachts are subject to a general rate of duty, 5% based on the customs value (basically the price paid) and 10% GST calculated on the customs value plus international transport and insurance plus the duty.

If you import a boat from the USA, some countries such as the USA and New Zealand have a free trade agreement with Australia which may allow you to avoid paying the 5% import duty. Please contact us confirm whether your boat or yacht are eligable.

Privately imported boats and yachts are generally valued using the transaction method of valuation when purchased overseas new or second-hand for export to Australia. Circumstances where Customs may use an alternative method of valuation include such situations as where:

  • the yacht was constructed by owner/labour;
  • the yacht has been extensively modified since purchase;
  • the purchaser and vendor are related parties and that relationship has influenced the purchase price; or
  • the original purchase price is too far removed in time.

In these instances the boat or yacht will have to be valued by a marine surveyor in Australia. This valuation will be based on the market value and as such will include elements such as customs duty and GST. Customs will have to deduct these elements plus overseas transport from the local valuation.

Where the boat or yacht is sailed to Australia, overseas freight will be determined having regard to essential sailing costs incurred under the most commercially viable conditions. Such costs would include sailing expenditure necessarily incurred while the vessel is actually sailing (and entering and leaving) those ports of call on the most commercially viable route. It would not include any in port expenditure related to the vessel’s period of stopover

.Where supported by sufficient/reliable information, essential sailing costs would also include:

  • cost of maps, charts pilot books, light/radio lists, etc.
  • crew’s hire/wages or forage allowance in lieu
  • victualling or food costs (does not include tobacco and alcoholic beverages)
  • bunkering or oil/fuel costs.

CFC Permit information can be found here

DAZMAC can arrange customs clearance of your yacht or boat prior to sailing into Australia. For more information please give us a call on 1300 DAZMAC (1300 329622)

Written by Daryl McInTyre