Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Science and Small Business

Customs Act 1901

Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations (Amendment)

Section 112 of the Customs Act 1901 (the Act) provides in part that:

"(1)       The Governor-General may, by regulation, prohibit the exportation of goods from Australia.

(2)       The power conferred by subsection (1) may be exercised - ... (c) by prohibiting the exportation of goods unless specified conditions or restrictions are complied with.

(2A)       Without limiting the generality of paragraph (2)(c), the regulations
...(a) may provide that the exportation of 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; and..."

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


These Regulations amend the Regulations to add five new substances to the list of precursors to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in Schedule 8 of the Regulations.

In September 1991 the Regulations were amended to introduce controls on the exportation of certain narcotic and psychotropic substances, together with certain substances which were known to be used in their illicit manufacture. This enabled Australia to meet its obligations as a signatory to the Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971. These controls are given effect to by regulation 10 which provides in part that the exportation of a drug specified in Schedule 8 is prohibited unless the person exporting the drug is the holder of a licence and a permission granted by the Secretary of the Department of Health, Housing and Community Services or an authorised person.

On 5 February 1993 the Government decided to amend Schedule 8 of the Regulations to add five new substances to the list of controlled substances.

The five new substances (four of which have been used in the manufacture of amphetamine derivatives and the fifth in the manufacture of methaqualone) were added to Table I of the Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances by decision of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna in April 1992. Australia signed the instrument of ratification for the Convention on 16 November 1992 and the Convention took effect in Australia on 14 February 1993.

Subregulation 8.3 amends the fist of controlled substances in Part 3 of Schedule 8 to include the following five new substances:

     safrole (new item 27A);

     isosafrole (new item 27B);

     piperonal (new item 270);

     3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone (new item 27D); and

     N-acetylanthranilic acid (new item 27E).

Corresponding amendments have been made to the equivalent import controls in Schedule 4 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations.

The opportunity has also been taken to make the following amendments to the Regulations.

i)        To correct the inadvertent omission of one substance, alphacetylinethadol, from Schedule 8 during the 1991 amendments (subregulation 8.1 refers).;

ii)       To correct the spelling of "N,N-dimethyltryptamine" in item 7 of Part 2 and "Cainazepam" in item 4 of Part 4 to the Schedule (subregulations 8.2 and 8.4 refer); and

iii) To change the various references to the Department in the Regulations to the "Department of Health, Housing, Local Government and Community Services" to reflect the new Administrative Arrangements (regulations 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 refer),

The Regulations commence on gazettal.

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