With the abundance of methamphetamine labs on private premises (also known as “meth labs”), there has been an increase in the number of importations of precursers to methamphetamine.
There has been a massive increase in the number of imported packages containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, Contact NT and other precursers to methamphetamine.
The maximum penalty for the charge of intentionally import prohibited tier 1 goods (precursers) (Section 233BAA4 Customs Act) is a fine of 1,000 penalty points or imprisonment for 5 years or both.
What the Prosecution must prove
To convict you of an intentionally import prohibited tier 1 goods charge, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
1. the person intentionally imported goods; and
2. goods were tier 1 goods and the person was reckless as to that fact; and
3. their importation:
a. was prohibited under this Act absolutely; or
b. was prohibited under this Act unless the approval of a particular person had been obtained and, at the time of the importation, that approval had not been obtained.
They will also need to prove that you were the person who committed the intentionally import prohibited tier 1 goods offence.
Remember, just because you received the package that contained the substance, and had possession of it, it does not necessarily mean that you will be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Your explanation for possession may be reasonable, and you may be found not guilty of the offence.
What type of penalty would you expect for this offence?
The court can impose any of the following penalties:
- Section 10 Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act-charge found proven but dismissed
- Section 9 – Good behaviour bond
- Community service order
- Section 12 – Suspended sentence
- Intensive Correction Order (previously known as periodic detention)
- Home detention
- Prison sentence
Whilst there is a wide variety of ways the court could deal with you in sentencing for these offences, the court will generally consider these offences as very serious.
The Commonwealth DPP will almost always elect to conduct these matters “on indictment”. This means that the charges will be heard in the District Court of NSW, heard by a judge or by a jury. The maximum penalty for this offence would therefore be 5 years imprisonment.
Unless there were exceptional circumstances, and your role in the offence was very minimal, you may be facing a term of full time imprisonment.
If you have been charged with one or more counts of Intentionally import prohibited tier 1 goods, you should contact LY Lawyers immediately.