|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
Under the Passengers Act 1852 ships masters were required to keep accurate passenger lists which were verified before the ship was cleared by customs and passengers could go ashore. Prior to 1852 there was no legal requirement to submit passenger lists.
Monitoring immigrant arrivals remained a State responsibility until 1923.
The Ports and Harbours Branch of the Department of Trade and Customs (VA 606) was responsible throughout most of the nineteenth century. From 1900 to 1923 responsibility continued to be exercised by the Ports and Harbours Branch, which had been transferred to the Public Works Department (VA 669) following federation and the assumption of the customs function by the Commonwealth. The monitoring of arrivals became a Commonwealth (VRG 87) function from October 1923 when regulations were passed bringing into effect Part V of the Commonwealth Navigation Act 1912.