Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs

Customs Act 1901

Customs (Prohibited Exports) Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 3)

Section 270 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 for giving effect to the Act.

Section 112 of the Act provides in part that the Governor-General may, by regulation, prohibit the exportation of goods from Australia and that power may be exercised by prohibiting the exportation of goods absolutely or by prohibiting the exportation of goods unless specified conditions or restrictions are complied with. The regulations may provide that the exportation of the goods is prohibited unless a licence, permission, consent or approval to export the goods or a class of goods in which the goods are included has been granted as prescribed by the regulations.

The Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 (the principal Regulations) control the exportation of the goods specified in the various regulations or the Schedules to the Regulations, by prohibiting exportation absolutely, or by making exportation subject to the permission of a Minister or an authorised person.

The purpose of the amending Regulation is to repeal the regulations which prohibit the exportation of certain goods to Libya, including law enforcement equipment, aircraft and aircraft components, airfield equipment and goods related to crude oil refining and exportation.

Regulation 13CB prohibits the exportation of certain goods to Libya unless the written permission of the Minister for Foreign Affairs or an authorised person is produced to a Collector. The list of prohibited goods is contained in Schedule 14A to the principal Regulations.

Regulation 13CB was introduced to implement the United Nations Security Council sanctions against Libya which were imposed in an attempt to compel Libya to cooperate with the investigation into the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988. United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 748 imposed an arms and air embargo on Libya. In 1993, UNSCR 883 extended sanctions against Libya including by prohibiting the provision of equipment for oil refining and transportation.

The Security Council (in UNSCR 1192 of 27 August 1998) decided that these sanctions would be suspended immediately if the UN Secretary General reported to it that the two Libyans accused of carrying out the attack on Pan Am Flight 103 had arrived in the Netherlands for the purpose of trial. On 8 April 1999, the Security Council noted that the conditions under UNSCR 1192 had been fulfilled and the sanctions were suspended from that date.

Following the suspension of sanctions, the approach taken by the Australian Government was to exercise its discretion to permit additional trade with Libya to take place. It is now considered appropriate that the Australian legislation implementing the sanctions should be repealed.

The amending Regulations repeal regulation 13CB and Schedule 14A in line with the UNSCR 1192 of 27 August 1998.

The amending Regulations commenced on gazettal.

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