Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs

Customs Act 1901

Customs Amendment Regulations 2004 (No. 1)

Subsection 270(1) of the Customs Act 1901 (the Act) provides in part that the Governor-General may make regulations not inconsistent with the Act prescribing all matters which by the Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or as may be necessary or convenient to be prescribed for giving effect to the Act or for the conduct of any other business relating to the Customs.

The purpose of the amending Regulations is to prescribe an additional approved firearm, the Browning 0.50 Calibre Infantry Machinegun, for use by certain authorised Customs officers.

Section 189A of the Act enables 'authorised arms issuing officers' to issue approved firearms to 'officers authorised to carry arms'. Both classes of officers are authorised by the Chief Executive Officer of Customs. The 'officers authorised to carry arms' may use approved firearms to fire signals, to disable ships, to compel ships to be brought to for boarding or to enable the safe exercise, by such officers, of powers conferred on them under the Act or any other Act.

Subsection 189A(5) of the Act defines 'approved firearms' as a firearm of a kind declared by the regulations to be an approved firearm for the purposes of section 189A.

Regulation 168 of the Customs Regulations 1926 (the Principal Regulations) sets out those firearms that are approved firearms.

The amending Regulations amend regulation 168 of the Principal Regulations to add the Browning 0.50 Calibre Infantry Machinegun to the list of approved firearms.

The Government has decided that Customs will lease a vessel to conduct patrols of Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone in the Southern Ocean. The amending Regulations will provide Customs with an additional approved firearm which is more suitable for the nature of the operations being undertaken in the Southern Ocean. The vessel which will be used for the patrols in the Southern Ocean will be modified to enable deployment and use of the firearm by an authorised officer should the circumstances warrant.

The amending Regulations commence on the date of their notification in the Gazette.


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