Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the authority of the Minister for Small Business, Customs and Construction

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 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; and

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

These Regulations impose sanctions against Rwanda in accordance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 918 of 16 May 1994. Australia is obliged to implement mandatory decisions of the UNSC under Article 25 of the United Nations Charter.

Operative paragraph 13 of UNSC Resolution 918 requires all States to prevent the sale or supply to Rwanda by their nationals or from their territory of arms and related materiel, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary police equipment and spare parts.

The exportation from Australia of all weapons, military vehicles and equipment and spare parts is presently controlled by regulation 13B and Schedule 13 of the Regulations, which are administered by the Department of Defence. These Regulations amend the Regulations to control the exportation of paramilitary police equipment to Rwanda in order for Australia to fully meet its obligation as a member of the United Nations to implement UNSC Resolution 918.

Regulation 2 gives effect to the Resolution by inserting a new regulation 13CG into the Regulations which prohibits the exportation of goods of a kind specified in new Schedule 14B the immediate or final destination of which is, or is intended to be, Rwanda unless the permission of the Minister for Foreign Affairs or an authorised person is presented to a Collector at or before the time of exportation.

New subregulation 13CG(2) provides that in deciding whether to give a permission, Australia's relations with other countries and obligations under international law must be taken into account.

The Regulations are explained in greater detail in the Attachment.

The Regulations commence on gazettal.


1. Amendment

Subregulation 1.1 - is a machinery provision which provides that the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations are amended as set out in these Regulations.

2.       New regulation 13CG

Subregulation 2.1 - inserts new regulation 13CG into the Regulations to prohibit the exportation of certain goods to Rwanda.

Exportation of certain goods to Rwanda

New subregulation 13CG(1) - provides that the exportation of a kind specified in new Schedule 14B the immediate or final destination of which is, or is intended to be Rwanda is prohibited unless the permission of an authorised person is produced to a Collector.

New subregulation 13CG(2) - requires the authorised person to take into account Australia's relations with other countries and Australia's obligations under international law when deciding whether to grant a permission.

New subregulation 13CG(3) - provides that the permission may be expressed to be subject to conditions, including the quantity of goods that may be exported, the circumstances of exportation and the period of effect of the permission.

New subregulation 13CE(4) - defines 'authorised person´ to mean the Minister for Foreign Affairs or an officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade authorised in writing by the Minister for the purposes of this regulation.

3.       Regulation 13H (Certain applications to be referred)

Subregulation 3.1 - amends paragraphs 13H(1)(a),(3)(a) and (4)(b) to insert cross references to the new provision requiring permissions to export certain goods to Rwanda. Regulation 13H requires that in circumstances where a permission may be granted by either a Minister or an authorised person, if that power is exercised by an authorised person and that person decides that a permission should not be granted, the application for the permission should be referred to be decided personally by the relevant Minister.

4.       New Schedule 14B (Goods the exportation of which to Rwanda is prohibited)

The new schedule itemises various paramilitary police equipment, including such items as batons, clubs, body armour and dot protection shields, the exportation of which to Rwanda is prohibited without the permission of the Minister for Foreign Affairs or an authorised person.

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