A privately owned ketch on tour in the South Pacific is planning to make landfall in Australia early next week and it is carrying about a dozen of the captain's friends and family.

Of course the captain will have to report to the harbour master (and ultimately the DIBP) with everyone's passports (that's a given). It's also understood that he will have to provide the make and serial number of his EPIRB and radar. But is the captain also required to list the make and serial number of everyone's laptop and mobile?

  • 2
    This seems more like a specialist question on maritime law than a travel question. But surely if there was some law like this then it would apply to cruise ships and ferries too and then everyone would know about it?
    – Jonathan
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 15:54
  • 3
    @Jonathan common carriers often have different requirements from private vessels. As a not-very-closely-related example I can cite the fact that otherwise-eligible travelers cannot use the VWP to enter the US on a private airplane or boat.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 16:44
  • 1
    @phoog If the private plane is flown by a VWP approved carrier, then they can. There are many air charter companies which have registered for the VWP for just this purpose. It is not very common (mainly because most GA in the US is domestic) but it is a thing. Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 2:28
  • @MichaelHampton I wouldn't have thought that a plane flown by an air charter company -- carrying passengers for hire -- would count as a "private plane."
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 13:54
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    @GayotFow you're not eligible for the VWP anyway!
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


Yes, please see Smallcraft Arrival Report. Clip below:

TSE78326 example

It seems clear from the number of slots and inclusion of TV, Stereo, etc. they mean more than just the navigational equipment on board. Mobile telephones is a bit more doubtful but I do know Australia likes to control these more closely than most countries.

  • Why would Australia control mobile phones moreso than another country? (This may be an obvious question, but occasionally I revert to the ignorant American of stereotype....) Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 20:29
  • Very useful. A print-out of this question/answer is being emailed as we speak. I assume that iPads, Kindles, and what-not fall into the same category as laptops and that mobiles can be itemised without much additional effort.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 21:51
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    Typical Aussie bureaucracy gone nuts. Needless to say, if you fly in by air, Customs has better things to do than ask for your mobile phone's serial number... Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 23:00
  • @jpatokal They do however ask about the total value of your electronics (that have not been used by you for more than 12 months) on your customs declaration. Exceeding value of $900, exceeds your duty-free allowance and if they opt to check, you are liable for fines and duty. (ie. An iPhone 6S+ in Japan costs over AU$1000 and if customs decided to check (which as you seem to agree, 99% of the time they don't), you would be liable for duty). Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 2:05
  • @pnuts You don't get fined for declaring something, but you will be obliged to pay tax on every item you have that was otherwise duty free assuming you exceed your duty free allowance. You only get fined when failing to declare. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 2:05

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