Australia. Customs and Border Protection processes over 3,500 people on Queen Mary 2

Tuesday, 02 March 2010

More than 3,500 passengers and crew aboard the Queen Mary 2 were processed en route to Australia yesterday.

Customs and Border Protection Chief Executive Officer, Michael Carmody, said he welcomed the opportunity to work more closely with the cruise industry through the National Sea Passengers Facilitation Committee which was established in 2009.

“This is a positive example of industry and government working together to improve the facilitation of passengers travelling on international cruise vessels visiting Australia such as the Queen Mary 2,” Mr Carmody said.

The ship arrived and departed Australia at the Whitsunday Islands yesterday, and is now proceeding onto New Zealand before returning to Sydney. To facilitate the expedient processing all passengers and crew were processed onboard by Customs and Border Protection officers prior to arrival at the Whitsunday Islands.

In partnership with industry under the National Sea Passenger Facilitation Committee, Customs and Border Protection aims to improve international sea passenger facilitation and other elements of international cruise vessel visits while protecting the border. This includes examining options for the increasing interest in the use of non-proclaimed (under the Customs Act) ports by cruise ships and the potential for facilitating this access whilst keeping Australia’s borders secure.

“The industry is expanding both in terms of technology and development of cruising itineraries, and it is important that we work together to ensure that this is undertaken in a way that continues to ensure the integrity of Australia’s border,” Mr Carmody said.

“En route clearances onboard international cruise vessels is one method to facilitate the movement of people in and out of Australian ports in conjunction with a range of other strategies that will continue to be considered and reviewed by the National Sea Passenger Facilitation Committee.”

The Committee is scheduled to meet every six months and is represented by senior personnel from the major international cruise ship operators, major cruise vessel ports, shipping agents and lobby groups, as well as key border agencies and other departments with an interest in the cruise vessel industry.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 March 2010 )