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Old 5th Apr 2012, 06:43   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Question Australian Customs Rules...

Quick question, can anyone shed some light as to why customs prohibit crews of international flights to do a handover at the aircraft?

Also, why are there crew lanes for passport control at some Australian airports, but at others crew have to line up with the passengers?

Final question, we are allowed to buy duty free at the airport shops whilst on duty, but not eligible for GST return on goods purchased landside when on duty? Seems a bit contradictory.

I am sure there has to be some point to this all that I am completely missing....
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 07:39   #2 (permalink)
 
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A1. There is a "sterile" requirement between inbound and outbound passengers - same applies to all flight crew. "Never the twain shall meet" or at least on the tarmac, aircraft, or not having first cleared CIQ.

A2. Crew lanes are a privilege, at least in Australia, so if you have a crew lane, and it is "manned" (sorry, tried for a non-gender specific term) this is your lucky day. Sometimes, if there is not a crew lane, then you can be acknowledged and moved to the front of the queue; again this is your lucky day.

A3. The program is the TRS - TOURIST Refund Scheme. Simplistically, if you are a tourist (or crew member) travelling with a valid ticket and boarding pass for a seat, AND you are not on the GENDEC, then generally, you are entitled to the same GST refund as a normal passenger (tourist). See this URL: Advice for travellers

Somewhere in the fog of my memory, it was decided that for flight crew to be restricted to only 2 bottles or the usual passenger allowance, each ten days was discriminatory, and was scrapped. Hence, we now have the same DF allowances as a passenger. Ten flights a month - no restrictions, at least on the DF side. As for Crew Articles in Possession and allowances for goods, that is something else.
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 08:03   #3 (permalink)
 
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I've been told recently by Customs , crew allowance has increased from $450 to the standard $900 as per pax.(for the same reason as it was disciminatory). I have been trying to find a reference but have had no luck. I wouldn't try it until it's proven ..
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 08:38   #4 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the quick reply!

I am still a little perplexed by the sterile requirement between in and outbound Flight Crew. The sterile requirement for passengers I completely understand, but how is it any different that I was able to cross paths with inbound crew when I used to work as airport staff, but now that I am operating crew, I am not?

My main gripe here is that handover briefs constitute an important part of threat mitigation and also I find having to wait at the gate unnecessarily reduces my time to perform preflight duties.
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 08:54   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
A1. There is a "sterile" requirement between inbound and outbound passengers - same applies to all flight crew. "Never the twain shall meet" or at least on the tarmac, aircraft, or not having first cleared CIQ.
Interesting. Any ideas on where this is in writing (for crew)? Or is this an airport specific thing?
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 12:03   #6 (permalink)
 
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Ahhh Australian customs
They manage to make the worst international arrival experience in the world worse!
Of all the places I travelled in the world the Aussie arrival experience is the worst, Sydney is the biggest joke though, slow, people pushing in and there is no crowd control.
To top it off I asked 2 customs guys standing around having a chat what are you doing to help and they laughed at me

If any tourism ministers read this they should put a rocket up their bosses, if they would listen, as they are the first experience of Australia.

As an Ocker Bloke not much makes me cringe but this bunch do
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 21:50   #7 (permalink)
 
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Keeping inbound and outbound crews separate is not uncommon around the world, Australia is not the only place that does it.
My experience with Australian customs over the last 25 years has been fine and the duty free allowance is quite generous.
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 00:16   #8 (permalink)
 
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I used to fly 747 Classic freighters Hong Kong to Seoul to Anchorage, where we did a running crew swap with the ongoing crew operating the last leg to Chicago, and of course the reverse on the way back.
We were HK based and the others were US based.
I always thought it was quite funny the way the customs/immigration guys carried on there at Anchorage on arrival of the airplane.
The crew van pulled up at the bottom of the steps as the airplane shut down, we had to get out of the van and wait at the far side of the van to where the steps were, then, the arriving US based guys were herded directly into the van, via the opposite side of the vehicle, without any contact at all, no actual speaking to the other crew was allowed!
We all though it was a great joke the way this was done, but as usual, the Yanks were very serious about doing this silly procedure, even though we spoke (loudly) over the top of the van if there was something important to impart about the airplane.
What made it more of a joke was that we were never searched (body or baggage) at any time, nor was the airplane!
EW73
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 01:00   #9 (permalink)
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Used to route through ANC quite a lot, always found Customs and Immigration to be the best in the whole USA! Their colleagues in JFK could learn a thing or two from them!
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 06:19   #10 (permalink)
 
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Oh what a rich subject matter..or can of worms we have opened...

Oz immigration, top notch, very very polite, sensible and helpful in the right circumstances.
Oz customs..well, what a bunch of impolite, oxygen stealing, lacking a braincell between them bunch of malevolent A-holes I have had the misfortune to come into contact with. Honestly I wouldn't even bother crossing the street to piss on one of them if they were on fire....
Does the customs exam include a compulsory lobotomy? perhaps they scoop out the stupid ones from the gene pool and send them off to train as a customs officer, and before anyone asks, no I haven't been on the receiving end....YET, but I've seen first hand the application of pedantic rule based behavior that does nothing other than make the customs officials look idiotic, and better yet does nothing to improve compliance or bio-security.
Dumbass is a good descriptive Noun for the whole organization.
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 10:48   #11 (permalink)
 
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Well, I dunno . . . I've entered Australia multiple times through both Sydney and Melbourne, and more often than not I've had something to declare (usually just foodstuffs), and I can honestly say that I've never had an unpleasant experience with Australian Customs. I sometimes fail to understand the reasoning behind excluding some of the things I'm not allowed to bring in, but that's an entirely different matter altogether.
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 11:41   #12 (permalink)
 
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Offchocks,
I fly around a fair bit and this ridiculous "no mixing" of crews rule applies only in the USA and Oz. Haven't been to the UK for a while. France definitely allows mixing.

Meanwhile engineers with leather man knives in their belts and random cleaning ladies can be on board and mix with both inbound and outbound crew. Yet you cannot remain behind a give a Saftey related technical brief to the next crew.

What exactly are these rules designed to achieve?

If if the inbound crew gave some "contraband" to the outbound crew - it would be leaving the country! So what?

Maybe, for our outrageous security and customs fees, a busybody from the concerned agency ( customs, immigration, Fed Police - I really don't know who is worried about what) could stand next to the inbound and outbound crews to make sure we only talked about technical things and not, for example, about mindless bureaucracy!

BTW Minister Albanese. I will vote for any party that brings some sense and practicality to Aviation Security but I have to say it's not looking good for you so far.
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 12:44   #13 (permalink)
 
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I'm still curious as to the no mixing rule.

Is it an airport specific rule or a customs rule? i can't find a reference.
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 16:21   #14 (permalink)

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Not an issue in the UK.
We regularly mix crews (inbound/outbounds) on the ramp all over Europe.
Probably the airport that is the most security conscious is Tel Aviv. No surprises there really.
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 18:13   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Not an issue in the UK.
We regularly mix crews (inbound/outbounds) on the ramp all over Europe.
Thats cos Reddo, they are sensible for the most part..mayby apart from LFPG where they just shrug and light another Gauloises
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 21:29   #16 (permalink)
 
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D.Lamination

Also no mixing in Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. As I said it is not uncommon.
Personally I can't see the problem, more often than not the inbound crew can give the thumbs up/down with regards the aircraft and you can read all about it in the tech log.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 10:08   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Also no mixing in Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok.
Not quite true. In HKG and BKK the walkways are structured to discourage/prevent inbound and outbound pax/crew mixing, but if you want to have a chat with the replacement crew you are not prevented from doing so. In Singapore I've often passed the crew as I'm on my way from the gate to the beer shop. (Already arranged for the F/O or S/O crew to grab my bag so there'll be no delay in crew transport departure.)
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 12:49   #18 (permalink)
 
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C441

Sorry not my experience.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 14:20   #19 (permalink)
Keg

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Question

No mixing in SIN? Not in your experience? Which terminal are you talking about. I haven't been there since September but departures and arrivals are all on the same level with inbound AND outbound pax all mixing together. They have individual screening on each gate so they don't give a stuff who gives what to whom as they screen you before you board. If you want to meet the inbound crew you just need to wait at the exit of the gate they arrived on. We used to do handover briefs all the time. In fact, it wasn't unusual if the inbound a/c was late to actually do the handover on the aerobridge.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 20:46   #20 (permalink)
 
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Hi Keg, same airline and same terminal as you, in fact about 10-12years ago we both flew quite a few times together on the 76.

Part of the OP question was "can anyone shed some light as to why customs prohibit crews of international flights to do a handover at the aircraft?"

Yes in SIN you can waite by the aerobridge exit to see the crew or meet them by chance in the terminal, but once you are through security at the departure lounge, that is it. In this case I've only been allowed onto the aircraft when the inbound crew is off. Without wishing to be seen as pedantic, that is not a handover on the aircraft.

Last edited by Offchocks; 7th Apr 2012 at 21:56.
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