Australian Government - Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

To protect Australia's borders and foster lawful trade and travel.

Requesting access to documents



Processing charges

Under the FOI Act and regulations (see below) there is no charge for:

  • making an application to Customs and Border Protection for access to a document
  • making an application for amendment or annotation or a personal record
  • making an application for internal review of a decision
  • making an application for review by the Information Commissioner
  • making a complaint to the Information Commissioner
  • providing access to personal information
  • providing access outside the statutory processing period unless that period has been extended

Customs and Border Protection may decide to impose charges under the FOI Act for the time taken to process your application. This includes charging for the time taken to search and retrieve the documents relevant to your request, the time taken to make a decision on your request and the costs associated with photocopying and postage

Fees and charges are set by the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982

Currently these include:

Search & Retrieval:

$15 per hour

Decision making, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletions.

No charge for an applicant who seeks access to their own personal information. For all other applications, the first five hours of time is free.

Subsequent hours: $20 per hour

Electronic production: retrieving and collating information stored on a computer or on like equipment

Actual cost incurred by Customs and Border Protection in producing the copy.


$0.10 per page

Delivery: posting or deliverying a copy of a document at the request of the applicant

Cost of postage or delivery.

If the request for documents is broad - for example, a number of documents are requested - the fees for processing the request can be high

You will be notified in writing if Customs and Border Protection decides to impose charges. A deposit may be required if the amount of the charges is over $25. If a deposit is required, the statutory time limit is stopped until your deposit is received

Customs and Border Protection will notify you of the final amount of charges once a decision has been made on your request. Payment of the charges is required before you are given access to documents.

The FOI Act gives you the right to seek an internal review or review by the Information Commissioner of the decision to impose a charge

Request for waiver of fees and charges imposed by Customs and Border Protection

Customs and Border Protection has the discretion to consider not imposing charges associated with processing your request for any reason, including, but not limited to:

  • the payment of the charge or a part of the charge would cause you financial hardship
  • the giving of access is in the general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the public

If you believe that any of the relevant criteria has been met or that the overall circumstances justify not imposing the charge, you should provide adequate supporting evidence to Customs and Border Protection clearly demonstrating this fact

If Customs and Border Protection does not hear from you within 30 days from the date you received the estimate of charges, your request will be treated as withdrawn