Fit and proper status

Granting a customs broker licence and fit and proper status

Section 183CC of the Customs Act 1901 (the Customs Act) sets out statutory requirements applicants must meet to be granted a customs broker licence.

This section specifies the requirements that the Comptroller-General of Customs must consider in determining 'fit and proper' status. This includes criminal convictions, bankruptcy and any false or misleading statements made. However, this list is not exhaustive and consideration can be given to any other matter seen as relevant.

We conduct a number of background checks, including police and criminal history, previous cargo importations and interactions with the department and other indications of general character and integrity. The General Consent provides us with the authority to perform these checks. An explanation of the various background checks is set out in the Privacy Notice for customs broker licence applications (496KB PDF) and National Police History Check documents.

Disclosing something adverse in your past, such as a previous conviction or non-compliance with customs law, might not automatically disqualify you from being granted a licence. However, failure to disclose such information might create doubt as to your integrity. You will be required to attest to the truthfulness and accuracy of all statements and documents in your application by signing a Statutory Declaration for customs broker licence (264KB PDF). Penalties apply for making a false or misleading statutory declaration, and for providing false or misleading information in a licence application

Some other information request requirements are imposed as a matter of policy.

Where the applicant is a company or partnership.

Section 183CC provides that the Comptroller-General of Customs shall not grant a broker's licence if, in their opinion:

(b) where the application is made by a company:

    • (i) a director of the company who would participate in the work of the company if it were a customs broker is not a fit and proper person; or
    • (ii) an officer or employee of the company who would participate in the work of the company if it were a customs broker is not a fit and proper person; or
    • (iii) the company is not a fit and proper company to hold a broker's licence; or

(c) where the application is made by a partnership:

    • (i) a partner in the partnership is not a fit and proper person; or
    • (ii) an employee of the partnership who would participate in the work of the partnership if it were a customs broker is not a fit and proper person.        

Other considerations

Section 183CC also specifies certain matters that the Comptroller-General of Customs must consider in determining 'fit and proper' status. These include:

  • criminal convictions
  • receivership, administration, deed of arrangement, liquidation or bankruptcy
  • refusal, suspension or cancellation of a transport security identification card
  • any false statements made.

Note that this list is not exhaustive and consideration can be given to any other matter that is relevant.

Broker licensing contact

Any enquiries concerning customs broker licensing matters should be directed to the Broker Licensing section.

Email: brokers.licensing@border.gov.au.