Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - RG

Arriving US Yachties Fined $19,000 by Australians

by Thornton Reese, About.com Sailing on 6 Feb 2008
Jim and Dorothy Manzari and their boat Oceanus .. .
An Australian court has upheld the conviction and large fine levied against a yachtsman who was convicted by a customs magistrate of failing to announce the intended arrival of his vessel and crew into Australia. The magistrate assessed a fine of $4,000 and $15,000 in court costs. The yachtsman appealed the lower court's conviction, but last week a District Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the magistrate's finding. To add slap to face, the higher court awarded costs of the appeal to the Commonwealth.

American sailor, James Manzari, was originally convicted in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court in February 2007 of two charges under the Customs Act; section 64 Impending Arrival Report, and section 64ACB Crew Reports. Under those rules, a ship's master must provide notice of intended arrival to Customs 96 hours before their arrival into Australia by fax, e-mail or telephone. Manzari arrived into the port of Bundaberg, Australia from Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, in September 2006, but was convicted of failing to provide the necessary notice to Customs prior to his arrival.

In June, 2006, Australia introduced new laws making it compulsory that aircraft and shipping entering Australia must give between four and ten days notice of their impeding arrival by fax, e-mail or telephone. Manzari claims that he was given outdated information from the Australian consulate in Noumea stating that arrival information must be given 48-hours prior to arrival, and that notification by VHF radio was acceptable. Manzari called Bundaberg customs on his VHF radio and informed them of his plans. Upon arrival, he says he learned of the new law. The hard way.

The 2006 law has been heavily criticized in the Australian sailing community, particularly after an elderly Dutch cruising couple were convicted. The couple made radio contact with Australian officials as they approached the Port of Brisbane, after a rough, thirteen day voyage from New Zealand. Upon arrival, they were informed of the new law. They were eventually fined $2,000.

So, for any cruisers out there heading for Australia: Don't forget to pack the fax machine, computer or sat-phone. (Or $20,000 in small unmarked bills). I wonder what kind of fines Capt. James Cook would rack up today?

To read the Manzari's side of the story, click here

Reader's Comment:

Sender: Rod Wills

Message: What a bloody disgrace!! Are we that hard up for revenue that we resort to such draconian measures? Who was the 'genius' twho thought that law up?! On behalf of Australian Yachties a sincere apology to our American visitors.
T Clewring AC72North Technology - Southern SparsBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Indispensable Sunscreen Tips
This is the second part of a three-article series on sailors and the sun This is the second part of a three-article series on sailors and the sun Dr. Steve Horwitz has been an active PHRF, Lightning and Etchells sailor for quite awhile. While most sailors on Biscayne Bay are used to seeing him at the helm of Widespread Panic, he crewed for years before he became a dermatologist.
Posted on 26 Apr 2009
Skin Cancer - the Reality of being a Fair-Skinned Sailor
'One of the first skin cancer screenings was during 2001/02 stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race,' said Dr. Steve Horwitz 'One of the first skin cancer screenings that I did at a regatta was during the 2001/02 Miami stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race,' said Dr. Steve Horwitz. Steve is sailing’s skin doctor. He has been practicing dermatology in Miami for over three decades and has been sailing on Biscayne Bay for longer
Posted on 24 Apr 2009
Vestas Sailrocket - Out of time and at the bitter end
We did all we could as the weather once again played games with us. Vestas Sailrocket is attempting to break the World Sailing Speed record on Walvis Bay in Namibia. Their time period for attempting this record has come to an end. Latest from Paul Larsen. We did all we could as the weather once again played games with us.
Posted on 20 Apr 2009
Curtain raised on the new l’Hydroptère.ch
l’Hydroptère.ch the new lab boat will be a trial platform on a reduced scale for the future Hydroptère maxi On Wednesday during a press conference organized in Lausanne, on the campus of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, which is the scientific adviser of the project, Alain Thébault and a part of his team unveiled the drawings of l’Hydroptère.ch
Posted on 18 Apr 2009
Vestas Sailrocket record attempt - And the answer is ...
Did we or didn't we???? We did a 45.68 knot 500 meter average and peaked at 47.6 something... Did we or didn't we???? As I sit here writing this and stuffing a basic chicken and cheese roll nto my mouth, Helena sits down the other end of the container trying to work out if we just broke the nautical mile record or not. I know it was close... We did a 45.68 knot 500 meter average and peaked at 47.6 something...
Posted on 10 Apr 2009
Vestas Sailrocket posts second fastest nautical mile run on record
Yesterday Vestas Sailrocket effortlessly posted the second fastest nautical mile run ever. Yesterday Vestas Sailrocket effortlessly posted the second fastest nautical mile run ever. Whilst yesterday was a bit light to hit top speeds, conditions were pretty ideal to ramp up the check-out of Vestas Sailrocket in preparation for what is to come...
Posted on 1 Apr 2009
Yacht Racing Design and Technology Symposium for 2009
Organisers of the World Yacht Racing Forum have announced the addition of a Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium Informa Yacht Group, organisers of the World Yacht Racing Forum have announced the addition of the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium to run parallel to this year’s Forum, 9-10 December at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
Posted on 1 Apr 2009
New World Speed Record- Macquarie Innovation breaks 50 - hits 54 knots
Simon McKeon and Tim Daddo leapt back into the history books Thursday when Macquarie Innovation averaged 50.43 knots Australian sailors Simon McKeon and Tim Daddo leapt back into the history books Thursday night when Macquarie Innovation powered down the Sandy Point speed course, near Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, at an average speed of 50.43 knots
Posted on 28 Mar 2009
Cowes Week to go ahead without sponsor
It’s business as usual for the world’s oldest and largest sailing regatta, Cowes Week It’s business as usual for the world’s oldest and largest sailing regatta, Cowes Week. The team at Cowes Week Limited, the organisation behind the world famous event, announced today that despite no new title sponsor being signed to date, they want sailors and spectators alike to rest assured the regatta will sail ahead as usual
Posted on 23 Mar 2009
Unlucky Friday 13th crash for Vestas SailRocket and Paul Larsen
Vestas SailRocket crashed at high speed and injuries to Paul Larsen, while attempting a world record run On Friday the 13th, the Vestas SailRocket team scheduled another world record attempt, which resulted in Vestas Sailrocket crashing at high speed and injuries to Paul Larsen. Larsen was hospitalised, but later released. Larsen was shaken but is determined to carry on.
Posted on 16 Mar 2009