Sydney Airport Customs Clearance Chaos

Discussion in 'Visas, Immigration & Customs' started by cssaus, Sep 27, 2007.

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  1. cssaus

    cssaus Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
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    Sydney

  2. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
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    Wonder if the jurno has travelled, did not seem to know the difference between the immigration line and the customs line!
     
  3. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    #3 serfty, Sep 27, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2007
    Like that's News? Sydney (+MEL +BNE) has been doing that since early this year ...

    Maybe the September Holiday crowds have made it worse and hence worthy of mention in the Tele?
     
  4. milehighclub

    milehighclub Active Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    844
    280
    I wish Melbourne airport would get an increase in staff. Passport control is no problem but quarrantine - 1 Staff for 2x777 and 1x747 with full loads and a A345 with some terminating passengers!!!! The lines were so long no one knew where it started or end and people unintentially cutting the line. Then once seperated into a line, they also moved very slow - and not every passengers was being x-rayed either.
     
  5. stryker

    stryker Member

    Sep 28, 2006
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    Thankfully they do seem to be acquiring a modicum of common sense.

    The last 2 times arriving at SYD INT with only a small carryon (and from a "sanitised" point of origin), I have been waved through the AQIS checks.
     
  6. Hvr

    Hvr Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    8,025
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    "Mothers also complained they were told to put up with the delays, with no special provisions, even for parents with infants.

    The young mum, who had nothing to declare, should have been allowed to clear the area without delay."


    Dare I ask why? Surely all passengers are affected not just those who think they are special?
     
  7. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
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    On my last RTW I was waved through as I had just carryon and was coming from the US. Not sure how it will play out coming from Cyprus this time. Quarantine is definitely the killer for me.

    Re the mum and baby - I agree unless the child was ill/needed changing (I havent seen any bathrooms on the baggage hall side of quarantine) then she can wait with the rest of us.

    Note the the sleight of hand here:

    A Customs spokeswoman last night said: "Customs aim to process 95 per cent of arriving international passengers through the immigration line within 30 minutes of joining the queue. This standard is generally met and often exceeded."

    No reference to quarantine ;)
     
  8. Soundguy

    Soundguy Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    323
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    Rudd's Banana Republic
    Oh I don't think you do. Adelaide has too many customs staff - far too many for the paltry number of international flights - and the situation is worse because they think have to try and justify their existence. Honestly you would think you are entering the Gaza strip. Everything carried by everyone gets searched, inlcluding looking inside books and purses etc, everything gets xrayed and the contents of suitcases entirely emptied on the counter often. In addition many of them are plain rude and leave you to repack all your now messed up suitcases. It can take more than an hour to process a single plane load (it is rare to have more than one international flight in at a time).

    Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are a dream in comparison, I will always pay extra if necessary to fly into Australia through one of these ports.
     
  9. ethernet

    ethernet Active Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    579
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    A Customs spokeswoman last night said: "Customs aim to process 95 per cent of arriving international passengers through the immigration line within 30 minutes of joining the queue. This standard is generally met and often exceeded."

    No reference to quarantine. (shhhh you hit the nail on the head).

    It would be nice if the nice journalist rang both Customs and AQIS to get decent numbers. And it would be nice if SYSTEMIC issues were followed.
    But it is clear, perception is that its not acceptable, whatever lame service standards get recited.

    Given the 'going over' is a lot more than I remember, can we have some stats on what EXTRA they are finding. I suspect there is a measure of justification, and bull**** wishy washy risk assessments re-jigged after letting horse flu in. No fireblight apples yet.

    The following rant occurred, because JETSTAR did not hand out declaration forms on an international-domestic flight, or give a 2 minute pep talk to grease the way. The airlines are not doing their bit.

    The other observation is that low risk int-domestic pax are getting blended in, and dune over. One assumes that they are wise to, and on the lookout for inflight mulling. Trouble here is, healthy load factors will amplify peak arrival congestion.

    Recently had a nice doggy sit beside my luggage and paw the heck out of a carryon. International collection. Fortunately I knew I had no issues, and quickly surrendered on prompting, my Cairns booty - tub of fruit pieces. - binned! They professionally kept tabs on us, I could feel the eye.

    Stood in line, knowing special treatment lay ahead. But told they were not interested in the huge suitcases, just carryon, and cleared. Then remembered the coffee pot, and Kunandra roasted coffee beans in it - maybe the dog goes for coffee. Nothing said, and we were out.

    The point is,I forgot something. AQIS should just telll BogStar to give quarantine forms to everyone, and run a video. The form would have jogged my memory.

    Another family member is pissed off, because he declared spice, and suspect footwear, but copped an official warning for the undeclared wooden spice rack when he showed the bottles. Heavyhanded and inappropriate. Can one make a complaint and whom to?

    How do we solve the mess?. Well the journo needs to publish their think tank of ideas, and get the community to help. Opening up an 'Amber' Qline is one idea.
     
  10. econgdon

    econgdon Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    47
    0
    Melbourne
    I personally think that not Xraying every person going through customs is a step up, not down.. where else in the World are entering people all held up while their luggage is xrayed?? .. its not a lapse, its an advancement .. this country is paranoid about people entering and all this hold up achieves nothing, because guns and drugs are more prevalent than ever before in our Society and its criminal members .. In my opinion it is mainy about making an appearance, and getting revenue out of the uninformed traveller who brings back an extra bottle of wine or two, or some extra smokes. I find it disgraceful that if a traveller declares additonal items ( being honest) on return, that they are taxed on the lot in their posession, and lose their whole duty free entitlements and also, that a person taking a bottle of wine out of the coutry as a gift, which they have paid tax on. Cannot get a credit to bring an overseas gift back which was received as a contra.. "Take all .. give nought". Thats the attitude of our Government in my opinion.
     
  11. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    You definitely don't want to go to the LOTFAP then :!:
     
  12. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    39,981
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    Has this change only been implemented in the last few weeks?

    When I arrived back in SYD early September, purchased duty free, only 1 person in front of me at customs, wait a few minutes for luggage, no more than 5 minutes wait at quarantine, get in friends car and arrive home within an hour of landing.
     
  13. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    The process of x-raying bags as you enter the country has nothing to do with looking for guns. It serves the very worthwhile process of identifying organic material that may be about to introduce a bug or disease into the country that is not already here. It is unique to Australia and NZ since we are both island nations that have so far managed to remain free of some of the rampand diseases found in other countries. Those of us who live in Qld wish there was similar diligence exercised when someone decided it was a good idea to bring the cane toad into the country.

    As far as guns are concerned, it is assumed people will not have such weapons in the carry-on bags, and by the time your checked bags are delivered to the luggage belt they have already been x-rayed by customs looking for such nasties (and sniffed by the beagles etc). The AQIS x-ray is primarily looking for organic materials that could carry diseases, and if they happen to see something that looks like a customs issue then AQIS will quickly refer it to Customs for further investigation.

    I see the AQIS x-ray process as a forward-looking process and not a backward step. Yes it can cause delays and at time it would be advantageous to have more machines and staff to process the queues more quickly. But I am always happy to have my bags x-rayed knowing that it is for the betterment of the country.
     
  14. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    It's unlikely to happen like that in Sydney in the mornings where 12 or more 747's land daily between 5 and 8 am - any day of the week.
     
  15. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Arriving back from SIN with BA early Friday morning end of July I was home within an hour of landing. I have not experienced these type of delays in SYD but then again I do not travel out of the country that often.

    Next overseas opportunity will be Kiwi Mainland DO in November and I hope the delays are not as bad as has been reported.
     
  16. Soundguy

    Soundguy Member

    Jun 15, 2006
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    Rudd's Banana Republic
    That's not so bad. I was fined $110 in Adelaide for not declaring a chocolate bar. And I was told I had to pay right there and then before I left the airport or they would take me to court. It was a fully wrapped and sealed Cadbury bar.

    This was just before 6am, it had taken over an hour since deplaning - yes it took them that long to process a single plane - and I had been travelling for 22 hours, but in hindsight if I wasn't so sleepy (and stunned) I probably should have taken it to court. So I paid them and now I add a levy onto every government job I do.

    I told them I had been on a farm but they didn't bother checking my shoes for mud, guess getting such a great bust and a $110 fine was more important.
     
  17. econgdon

    econgdon Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    47
    0
    Melbourne
     
  18. econgdon

    econgdon Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    47
    0
    Melbourne
     
  19. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    Arriving back in SYD from HKG in the Early hours (QF128) last April it took 1 minute to get through SmartGate and 45 minutes to get x-rayed and out. We had no checked luggage. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Shano

    Shano Established Member

    Aug 17, 2006
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    The last time I cleared C&I in SYD (also arriving on QF128) in June this year when returning from China, it took about 15 minutes from the time I had collected my checked luggage to get through x-ray screening.

    Arriving into MEL on QF136 last month took < 5 minutes.
     
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