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06 September 2005
Workers on container ships will be subject to electronic clearance before arrival at Australian sea ports from March 2006, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone said on 1 Sept.
This represents yet another layer of security for arrivals by sea, to bring them to the same level of security as air arrivals.
Advance Passenger Processing (APP) is an additional check against a database of persons and documents of concern when considering visa issuance. For sea crew, it allows checks that could result in crew being confined on board the ship or other security measures being put in place.
During the 2004-05 financial year the department refused entry to 2058 people at Australia's borders.
APP was made mandatory for international cruise ships in January 2004. As of that time, cruise ships are required to make certain information about its passengers and crew available before arrival in Australia. It is done through a new internet-based APP system that makes reporting easier when a vessel is on its way to Australia.
In addition to increasing security measures, APP pre-arrival assessment will also facilitate the clearance of participants and visitors coming to Australia for the Commonwealth Games in March 2006.