Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs

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 the last preceding subsection 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 importation absolutely, or making exportation subject to the permission of a Minister or a specified person. Regulations 10 and 10A control the exportation of certain drugs by operation of Schedule 8 (Parts 1 to 4) to the Regulations.

These Regulations amend Part 3 of Schedule 8 to prohibit the exportation of the drug "4hydroxybuianoic acid, its salts and esters" (otherwise known as "Fantasy").

This amendment complements similar amendments to the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations in relation to importation of the drug, and the amendments to the Customs (Narcotic Substances) Regulations in relation to trafficking in the drug.

The abuse of the substance known as "Fantasy" has recently come to light following a recent incident in Queensland in which eight people were hospitalised after taking a mixture believed to contain the substance.

The Government has decided that controls be introduced on the drug following the Queensland incident to address the public safety issues. The Government has been advised that the drug has no approved therapeutic use in Australia, and limited use in some overseas countries as an anaesthetic.

The Regulations commenced on gazettal.

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