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CUSTOMS (PROHIBITED EXPORTS) REGULATIONS (AMENDMENT) 1995 NO. 71EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
STATUTORY RULES 1995 No. 71
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 subparagraph (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; ...".
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 exportation absolutely, or making exportation subject to the permission of a Minister or a specified person.
Pursuant to regulation 11, Schedule 9 to the Regulations lists nuclear-specific goods, the exportation of which is prohibited unless permission is granted by the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy. The items covered by the Schedule reflect Australia's international commitments in relation to nuclear non-proliferation, including as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
The NSG consists of twenty-seven countries which adhere-to the Nuclear Suppliers Guidelines. These aim to restrict the exportation of proliferation-sensitive nuclear goods. For the purpose of implementing the NSG guidelines relating to nuclear-specific goods, the NSG produces a 'Trigger List' of controllable items whose exportation should 'trigger' the application of the nuclear safeguards required under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. These items are included in Schedule 9.
A number of proposed additions, clarifications and amendments to the Trigger List covering uranium enrichment technologies, uranium conversion technologies and primary coolant pumps in nuclear reactors, with Australian support, were accepted by the NSG at a meeting in October 1993. Australia supported this at the time, and on 1 March 1994, formally notified the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of its intention to act in accordance with the revised list. The Regulations amend Schedule 9 to the Regulations to reflect the agreed additions, clarifications and amendments in Australia's domestic legislative controls.
The major changes relate to the expansion of the identification of several items identified in Schedule 9.
Subregulation 2.1 widens the description of primary coolant pumps to ensure that all such pumps are controlled.
Subregulation 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5 clarify the existing description of rotor assemblies, rotor tubes, bearing and dampers and molecular pumps so that all such items are now caught by the Schedule.
Subregulation 2.6 corrects a previous deficiency in the Schedule whereby the identified major components of gas centrifuges did not include the housing/recipients used to contain the rotor tube assembly of a gas centrifuge or the scoops used to extract uranium hexafluoride gas from within the rotor tube. The Regulations correct this deficiency by inserting the items.
Subregulation 2.7 omits jet nozzle separation units and vortex separation units, which were previously identified in items 7.5 and 7.6 of the Schedule. New items 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8 and 7.9 are substituted. The new items clarify and expand the description of jet nozzle separation units and vortex separation units through a more detailed description of systems, equipment and components used in uranium enrichment plants other than those using gas centrifuges.
Subregulation 2.8 inserts new Part 12 into the Schedule to provide coverage of nuclear-specific items used in uranium conversion facilities. Previously, nuclear nonproliferation control regimes such as the NSG did not address the intermediate process of converting uranium ore concentrates into a requisite form, for example uranium hexafluoride, that can be fed into an enrichment plant to produce enriched uranium product. This new part overcomes this deficiency.
The Regulations incorporate the revisions to the NSG Trigger List and fulfil Australia's international commitments in relation to nuclear non-proliferation.
The Regulations commenced on gazettal.