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CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 2007 (NO. 1) (SLI NO 141 OF 2007)
Select Legislative Instrument 2007 No. 141
Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs
Customs Administration Act 1985
Customs Administration Amendment Regulations 2007 (No. 1)
Section 18 of the Customs Administration Act 1985 (the Act) provides that the Governor‑General may make regulations, not inconsistent with the Act, prescribing matters required or permitted to be prescribed by the Act or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act.
Section 16 of the Act relates to the prohibition on the disclosure of protected information by the Australian Customs Service (Customs). Subsection 16(2) of the Act prohibits the disclosure of protected information except in specified circumstances, including where the disclosure is authorised under section 16.
The amending Regulations update the list of permitted entities to which disclosures of classes of protected information containing personal information may be authorised under section 16 of the Act by Customs. This extends the permitted disclosure of protected information to Commonwealth, State and foreign government agencies in order to meet Customs’ current operational requirements.
Subsections 16(3A), (3B), (3C) and (3D) of the Act allow the Chief Executive Officer of Customs (the CEO) to authorise the disclosure of protected information to certain government agencies and international entities under specified circumstances. However, section 16 sets out further requirements to be fulfilled in relation to the disclosure of protected information containing personal information. In this respect, ‘personal information’ has the same meaning as in the Privacy Act 1988.
To authorise the disclosure of a class of information containing personal information under subsections 16(3A), (3B), (3C) or (3D), subsection 16(10) requires that:
• the entity to which the disclosure is to be made must be specified in the regulations; and
• the class of information to be disclosed must be specified in the regulations as a class of information that may be disclosed to the relevant entity.
For the purposes of subsection 16(10) of the Act, Schedule 2 to the Customs Administration Regulations 2000 (the Principal Regulations) specifies the entities to which disclosure of a class of information containing personal information may be made, and the class or classes of information, as described and identified in Schedule 3, that may be disclosed to each specified entity. Schedule 3 sets out the descriptions of seven classes of information that may be disclosed. Schedule 3 is included in Attachment A.
An overview of the amending Regulations is at Attachment B.
No consultation was undertaken specifically in relation to the amending Regulations as they are of a minor or machinery nature and do not substantially alter existing arrangements.
The amending Regulations commence on the day after they are registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.
CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS 2000
A Documents and information about surveillance activity or analysis
1. This class includes, for a person, information such as identification details, travel documents and details of suspected offending conduct.
2. It also includes documents and information derived from human and electronic surveillance methods, such as reports of observations, perceptions or detections, photographs, videotape recordings, radar, satellite or closed circuit television images or stills and sound recordings.
B Documents and information about intelligence activity or analysis
1. This class includes, for a person, details of convictions, identification details of known associates, past travel details, and details of agencies to whom the person is of interest.
2. It also includes reports, assessments, briefings and other intelligence publications.
C Documents and information about commercial transactions, including the importation or exportation of goods to and from Australia
D Documents and information about the movement of vessels and aircraft
E Documents and information about passenger and crew detentions and examinations
F Documents and information about the arrival and departure of persons to and from Australia
G Documents and information about detection, examination and seizure of goods including postal articles
The amending Regulations amend Schedule 2 to the Principal Regulations to:
• insert the Director, National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme as an entity to which disclosure of the class of information C containing personal information may be made;
• insert the Philippine Bureau of Customs as an entity to which disclosures of classes of information A, B, C, D, E, F and G containing personal information may be made;
• substitute the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship;
• substitute the Department of the Environment and Heritage with the Department of the Environment and Water Resources;
• substitute the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (Victoria) with the Department of Sustainability and Environment;
• substitute the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment (Tasmania) with the Department of Primary Industries and Water;
• insert the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (Queensland), the Department of Planning and Infrastructure (Western Australia) and the Department of Fisheries (Western Australia) as entities to which disclosures of classes of information A, B, and D containing personal information may be made;
• insert the Department of Environment and Conservation (Western Australia) as an entity to which disclosures of classes of information A, B, C, D, E, F and G containing personal information may be made;
• delete the Department of Conservation and Land Management (Western Australia) as an entity to which disclosures may be made; and
• re-arrange Part 2 of Schedule 2 so that the entities are grouped by State and Territory.