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Control Permit

Information for yachts travelling to Australia – your stay

When you arrive in Australia, there are a number of clearance options depending on when you intend to leave. If you intend to leave within twelve months, you may be granted a control permit, asked to provide a security for temporary importation or to formally import the craft. See the Clearance Options for Visting Smallcraft factsheet for more information.   https://www.border.gov.au/Factsheets/Documents/clearance-options-for-visting-smallcraft.pdf   

All options provide access to Australian waters and lands.

Control permits

A control permit will be issued to the Master of the craft if Customs is satisfied the craft is transiting Australia for non-commercial purposes. Control permits may be issued for a period of 12 months, or the length of the Master’s visa, whichever is less. Extension of the permit may be granted on application, provided that you meet eligibility requirements and have an appropriate visa.

You will be required to comply with certain conditions attached to the issue of the permit.

Cruising permits will not be issued if:

  • The vessel is owned or operated by an Australian resident unless exceptional circumstances apply;
  • The vessel is to be used for commercial purposes (eg charter, hire or lease);
  • The vessel, or parts of the vessel, are to be sold or listed for sale.

If circumstances of the craft’s presence in Australia change, you are required to advise Customs. Failure to do so can result in a cruising permit being revoked and the vessel being deemed imported at which time payment of duty and tax will be required.

What if the Master wants to fly home and come back later?

This is possible but you must advise Customs and make arrangements for appropriate control over the vessel. Further information can be obtained from the Customs office at your intended port of arrival. See details on the Ports of Entry page.

Temporary importation of vessels

If your visa allows you to reside in Australia for a limited period you may be required to temporarily import a craft into Australia. Temporary importation without paying Customs duty and tax is subject to:

  • The vessel being exported within 12 months of arrival; and
  • A security in cash or an appropriate bank guarantee being provided equal to the duty and tax that would otherwise be payable.
When do I get my security back?

If a cash security has been given and a cash refund is sought it will be necessary for you to give advance notice to Customs at the proposed port of departure before you leave.

Further information can be obtained from the Customs office at your intended port of arrival. See details on the Ports of Entry page.

Formal Importation

If you are an Australia citizen, permanent resident of Australia or migrating to Australia on a craft purchased outside Australia, importation of the craft is required. Customs duty and tax are payable on any craft imported into Australia upon its arrival.