Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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No. 15, 2013

Compilation No. 6

Compilation date:   5 April 2017

Includes amendments up to: Act No. 19, 2017

Registered:    6 April 2017


About this compilation

This compilation

This is a compilation of the Maritime Powers Act 2013 that shows the text of the law as amended and in force on 5 April 2017 (the compilation date).

The notes at the end of this compilation (the endnotes) include information about amending laws and the amendment history of provisions of the compiled law.

Uncommenced amendments

The effect of uncommenced amendments is not shown in the text of the compiled law. Any uncommenced amendments affecting the law are accessible on the Legislation Register ( The details of amendments made up to, but not commenced at, the compilation date are underlined in the endnotes. For more information on any uncommenced amendments, see the series page on the Legislation Register for the compiled law.

Application, saving and transitional provisions for provisions and amendments

If the operation of a provision or amendment of the compiled law is affected by an application, saving or transitional provision that is not included in this compilation, details are included in the endnotes.

Editorial changes

For more information about any editorial changes made in this compilation, see the endnotes.


If the compiled law is modified by another law, the compiled law operates as modified but the modification does not amend the text of the law. Accordingly, this compilation does not show the text of the compiled law as modified. For more information on any modifications, see the series page on the Legislation Register for the compiled law.

Self-repealing provisions

If a provision of the compiled law has been repealed in accordance with a provision of the law, details are included in the endnotes.





Part 1--Introduction

Division 1--Preliminary

1 Short title

2 Commencement

3 Act binds the Crown

4 Application of Act

5 Effect on executive power

6 Relationship to other laws

Division 2--Guide to this Act

7 Guide to this Act

Division 3--Definitions

8 Definitions

9 Involved in a contravention

10 Actionable contraventions--aircraft

11 Continuous exercise of powers

Division 4--International agreements and decisions

12 When international agreements and decisions apply

13 Treating foreign vessels as Australian vessels

14 Applying Australian law in other places

Part 2--Exercising powers

Division 1--Introduction

15 Guide to this Part

Division 2--Authorising the exercise of maritime powers

16 Authorising officers

17 Contraventions

18 Monitoring laws

19 International agreements and decisions

20 Evidential material and warrants

21 Identifying vessels and aircraft

22 Seizable transit goods--aircraft

22A Failure to consider international obligations etc. does not invalidate authorisation

22B Rules of natural justice do not apply to authorisations

Division 3--Authorisations and approvals

23 When authorisations are in force

24 When approvals lapse

25 Form of authorisations and approvals

26 Further authorisations and approvals

Division 4--Exercising powers

Subdivision A--Effect of Division

27 Effect of Division

Subdivision B--Exercising powers without authorisation

28 Identifying aircraft

29 Ensuring safety

Subdivision C--Exercising powers with authorisation

30 Authorisation required

31 Exercising powers for authorised purpose

32 Exercising powers for other purposes

33 Additional powers and limitations under international agreements and decisions

Subdivision D--Scope of power

34 Scope of power--vessels, installations, aircraft and protected land areas

35 Warrants not required

36 Enforcing warrants

Subdivision E--Using force and assistance

37 Using force

38 Requesting assistance

39 Requiring assistance

Division 5--Geographical limits

Subdivision A--Exercising powers in other countries

40 Exercising powers in other countries

Subdivision B--Exercising powers between countries

41 Foreign vessels between countries

42 Meaning of chased without interruption

43 Foreign installations between countries

44 Foreign aircraft between countries

Subdivision C--Exercising powers in Australia

45 Foreign vessels in Australia--evidence and warrants authorisations

46 Vessels, installations and isolated persons in States and internal Territories

47 Aircraft in States and internal Territories

Subdivision D--Requests and agreements of other countries

48 Manner and form of requests and agreements

49 Scope of powers under requests and agreements

Part 3--Maritime powers

Division 1--Introduction

50 Guide to this Part

51 Effect of Part

Division 2--Boarding

52 Boarding vessels, installations and aircraft

53 Requirement to facilitate boarding

54 Additional powers--vessels

55 Additional powers--aircraft

Division 3--Entering on land

56 Entering on land

Division 4--Obtaining information

57 Requiring answers, records and documents

58 Obtaining readings

Division 5--Searching

59 Searching places

60 Lifting persons or things from the sea

61 Searching persons

62 Conducting frisk searches

Division 6--Things found or produced

63 Examining things

64 Securing and marking things

65 Copying records or documents

66 Securing weapons

67 Seizing things

68 Retaining things

Division 7--Detaining vessels, aircraft and other conveyances

69 Vessels and aircraft

69A Additional provisions relating to taking a vessel or aircraft to a destination under section 69

70 Other conveyances

Division 8--Placing and moving persons

71 Placing persons

72 Persons on detained vessels and aircraft

72A Additional provisions relating to taking a person to a destination under subsection 72(4)

73 Using detention provisions

74 Safety of persons

75 Restraint is not arrest

Division 8A--General provisions relating to powers under Divisions 7 and 8

75A Failure to consider international obligations etc. does not invalidate exercise of powers

75B Rules of natural justice do not apply to exercise of powers

75C Additional provisions about destination to which a vessel, aircraft or person may be taken

75D Exercising powers between countries

75E Powers are not limited by the Migration Act 1958

75F Minister may give directions about exercise of powers

75G Compliance with directions

75H Certain maritime laws do not apply to certain vessels detained or used in exercise of powers

Division 9--Arrest

76 Arrest for indictable offences

77 Enforcing arrest warrants

Division 10--Requiring conduct to cease

78 Requiring conduct to cease

Part 4--Dealing with things taken

Division 1--Introduction

79 Guide to this Part

Division 2--Notice of seizure, retention or detention

80 Notice of seizure, retention or detention

81 Information about the return of things

82 Notice of Commonwealth ownership

Division 3--Using seized things

83 Using seized things

84 Using seized things--State and Territory officers

85 Operating electronic equipment

Division 4--Returning things

86 Returning seized things

87 Returning retained and detained things

88 Magistrate may extend holding period

89 Returning things if notice of Commonwealth ownership given

90 Seizing under other Australian laws

Division 5--Disposing of things

91 Reasons for disposal

92 Methods of disposal

93 Notice of disposal

Part 5--Dealing with persons held

Division 1--Introduction

94 Guide to this Part

95 Treatment of persons held

96 Doing things as soon as practicable

Division 2--Persons detained

98 Persons detained under detention provisions

Division 3--Persons arrested

99 Application of this Division

100 Person to be informed of reason for arrest

101 Person to be brought before magistrate

102 Enforcing arrest warrants

Part 6--Failing to comply with requirements

103 Offence

Part 7--Miscellaneous

Division 1--Maritime officers

104 Maritime officers

105 Carrying and using arms

106 Identity cards

107 Protection from suit

Division 2--Evidentiary certificates

108 Evidence of international agreements and decisions

109 Evidence of approvals

110 Evidence of requests and agreements--geographical limits on exercise of powers

111 Certificates are prima facie evidence

Division 3--Recovery of costs

112 Chase costs

113 Seizure costs

114 Liability to pay costs is a debt to the Commonwealth

Division 4--Gathering and sharing information

115 Copying records or documents for other purposes

116 Sharing information

Division 5--Compensation for acquisition of property

117 Compensation for acquisition of property

118 Compensation for damage to documents

119 Compensation for damage to equipment

120 Amount of compensation--proceedings

Division 6--Delegation and regulations

121 Delegation

122 Regulations


Endnote 1--About the endnotes

Endnote 2--Abbreviation key

Endnote 3--Legislation history

Endnote 4--Amendment history



Endnote 1--About the endnotes

The endnotes provide information about this compilation and the compiled law.

The following endnotes are included in every compilation:

Endnote 1--About the endnotes

Endnote 2--Abbreviation key

Endnote 3--Legislation history

Endnote 4--Amendment history

Abbreviation key--Endnote 2

The abbreviation key sets out abbreviations that may be used in the endnotes.

Legislation history and amendment history--Endnotes 3 and 4

Amending laws are annotated in the legislation history and amendment history.

The legislation history in endnote 3 provides information about each law that has amended (or will amend) the compiled law. The information includes commencement details for amending laws and details of any application, saving or transitional provisions that are not included in this compilation.

The amendment history in endnote 4 provides information about amendments at the provision (generally section or equivalent) level. It also includes information about any provision of the compiled law that has been repealed in accordance with a provision of the law.

Editorial changes

The Legislation Act 2003 authorises First Parliamentary Counsel to make editorial and presentational changes to a compiled law in preparing a compilation of the law for registration. The changes must not change the effect of the law. Editorial changes take effect from the compilation registration date.

If the compilation includes editorial changes, the endnotes include a brief outline of the changes in general terms. Full details of any changes can be obtained from the Office of Parliamentary Counsel.

Misdescribed amendments

A misdescribed amendment is an amendment that does not accurately describe the amendment to be made. If, despite the misdescription, the amendment can be given effect as intended, the amendment is incorporated into the compiled law and the abbreviation "(md)" added to the details of the amendment included in the amendment history.

If a misdescribed amendment cannot be given effect as intended, the abbreviation "(md not incorp)" is added to the details of the amendment included in the amendment history.


Endnote 2--Abbreviation key


ad = added or inserted

o = order(s)

am = amended

Ord = Ordinance

amdt = amendment

orig = original

c = clause(s)

par = paragraph(s)/subparagraph(s)

C[x] = Compilation No. x


Ch = Chapter(s)

pres = present

def = definition(s)

prev = previous

Dict = Dictionary

(prev ... ) = previously

disallowed = disallowed by Parliament

Pt = Part(s)

Div = Division(s)

r = regulation(s)/rule(s)

ed = editorial change

reloc = relocated

exp = expires/expired or ceases/ceased to have

renum = renumbered


rep = repealed

F = Federal Register of Legislation

rs = repealed and substituted

gaz = gazette

s = section(s)/subsection(s)

LA = Legislation Act 2003

Sch = Schedule(s)

LIA = Legislative Instruments Act 2003

Sdiv = Subdivision(s)

(md) = misdescribed amendment can be given

SLI = Select Legislative Instrument


SR = Statutory Rules

(md not incorp) = misdescribed amendment

Sub-Ch = Sub-Chapter(s)

    cannot be given effect

SubPt = Subpart(s)

mod = modified/modification

underlining = whole or part not

No. = Number(s)

    commenced or to be commenced


Endnote 3--Legislation history



Number and year



Application, saving and transitional provisions

Maritime Powers Act 2013

15, 2013

27 Mar 2013

s 3-122: 27 Mar 2014 (s 2(1) item 2) Remainder: 27 Mar 2013 (s 2(1) item 1)


Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Act 2014

135, 2014

15 Dec 2014

Sch 1 (items 1-30, 39): 16 Dec 2014 (s 2(1) item  2)

Sch 1 (item 39)

Customs and Other Legislation Amendment (Australian Border Force) Act 2015

41, 2015

20 May 2015

Sch 6 (items 129, 130) and Sch 9: 1 July 2015 (s 2(1) items  2, 7)

Sch 6 (item 130) and Sch 9

Biosecurity (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2015

62, 2015

16 June 2015

Sch 2 (items 28, 29) and Sch 4: 16 June 2016 (s 2(1) items  2, 4) Sch  3: 16 June 2015 (s 2(1) item 3)

Sch 3 and Sch 4

Defence Legislation Amendment (First Principles) Act 2015

164, 2015

2 Dec 2015

Sch 2 (items 58, 59, 80): 1 July 2016 (s 2(1) item 2)

Sch 2 (item 80)

Statute Update Act 2016

61, 2016

23 Sept 2016

Sch 4 (items 4, 5): 21 Oct 2016 (s 2(1) item 1)


Customs and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017

19, 2017

4 Apr 2017

Sch 8: 5 Apr 2017 (s 2(1) item 4)

Sch 8 (item 3)


Endnote 4--Amendment history


Provision affected

How affected

Part 1


Division 2


s 7.....................

am No 135, 2014

Division 3


s 8.....................

am No 135, 2014; No 61, 2016

s 11....................

am No 135, 2014

Part 2


Division 2


s 22A...................

ad No 135, 2014

s 22B...................

ad No 135, 2014

Division 4


Subdivision C


s 31....................

am No 135, 2014

Division 5


Subdivision A


s 40....................

am No 19, 2017

Subdivision B


s 41....................

am No 135, 2014

Part 3


Division 7


s 69....................

am No 135, 2014

s 69A...................

ad No 135, 2014

Division 8


s 72....................

am No 135, 2014

s 72A...................

am No 135, 2014

Division 8A


Division 8A...............

ad No 135, 2014

s 75A...................

ad No 135, 2014

s 75B...................

ad No 135, 2014

s 75C...................

ad No 135, 2014

s 75D...................

ad No 135, 2014

s 75E...................

ad No 135, 2014

s 75F...................

ad No 135, 2014

s 75G...................

ad No 135, 2014

s 75H...................

ad No 135, 2014

Part 4


Division 1


s 79....................

am No 135, 2014

Division 2


s 80....................

am No 135, 2014

s 81....................

am No 135, 2014

Division 4


s 86....................

am No 135, 2014

s 87....................

am No 135, 2014

Division 5


s 91....................

am No 62, 2015

s 93....................

am No 135, 2014

Part 5


Division 1


s 94....................

am No 135, 2014

Division 2


s 97

rep No 135, 2014

Part 7


Division 1


s 107...................

am No 135, 2014

Division 3


s 114...................

am No 41, 2015; No 164, 2015

Division 6


s 121...................

am No 135, 2014; No 164, 2015


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