The Australian Department of Defence has announced that the public and interested stakeholders are invited to comment on proposed amendments to regulation 13E of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958. The intent behind the proposed amendments is to update current export control processes, bringing regulation 13E into line with the more modern regulatory powers contained in the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (DTC Act).
Broadly, the amendments include:
- a new personal use exemption for the physical export of technology (e.g. a permit will not be required to take a computer or data storage device overseas that contains controlled software or technology where it is for personal use and will not be transferred);
- legislative clarification that the physical export of controlled software and technology stored on an uncontrolled good (e.g. computer/data storage device) will require an export permit;
- the provision of enhanced powers (into line with the DTC Act) for the Minister to revoke a permit where it is determined that an export would prejudice the security, defence or international relations of Australia;
- specifying in legislation the criteria and matters that the Minister may have regard to when deciding whether to grant a permit;
- specifying in legislation when and how Defence can impose conditions on export permits and providing a permit holder with rights of review regarding the imposition of conditions;
- clarifying in legislation the application process, how permits are granted or revoked, and when and how reasons for certain decisions are disclosed;
- specifying in legislation when and to whom Defence will disclose information received during the administration of export controls legislation; and
- the addition of mechanisms to review decisions made under regulation 13E – decisions can be internally reviewed and applications to review a decision can also be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Public submissions are important to the Department of Defence and will assist in developing a strong export control framework that ensures Australia exports responsibly in line with Australia’s international obligations. Once all submissions are received, Defence Export Controls will analyse the information to finalise the proposed amendments and provide advice to Government.
The proposed amendments to Regulation 13E can be viewed here and the draft Explanatory Statement can be viewed here. The closing date for submissions on the proposed amendments is close of business Friday, 8 September 2017.
Submissions can be emailed to email@example.com or posted to: Defence Export Controls Branch, R1-1-A037, PO Box 7901, CANBERRA BC ACT 2600