Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs

Customs Act 1901

Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations (Amendment)

Section 112 of the Customs Act 1901 (the Act) provides in part that the Governor-General may make regulations prohibiting the exportation of goods from Australia.

The Regulation proposes amendments to the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations on two disparate matters (A and B) as follows.

A.        Amendments to control the exportation of ozone-depleting substances

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.

The purpose of regulations 2 and 3 is to implement the Commonwealth's responsibilities and obligations accepted under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to control the importation and exportation of ozone depleting substances.

The exportation of ozone-depleting substances is controlled under the Ozone Protection Act 1989. However, the Ozone Protection Act 1989 does not contain any provision for these prohibitions to be enforced at the customs border. The amendments to the Regulations make the ozone depleting substances which are specified under the Ozone Protection Act 1989 prohibited exports under the Customs Act 1901, thus allowing illegal exports of thies substances to be seized by Customs officers at the border.

The regulations prohibit the exportation of ozone depleting substances in bulk form; it is not intended at this time to control normal household goods which contain those substances, and the regulations contain exemptions for this purpose.

Regulation 2 inserts a new regulation 13F in the Regulations.

New subregulation 13F(3) prohibits the exportation of the ozone depleting substances listed in the new Schedule 15 to the Regulations unless a licence to export the goods has been granted under Section 16 of the Ozone Protection Act 1989, and that licence, or a copy of it, is produced to a Collector.

New sub-regulation 13F(2) provides for exemptions to the prohibition by reference to the tariff classification of the exempt goods. Generally speaking, these goods are to be exempt because they are manufactured goods which use the ozone depleting substance as part of their everyday operation (such as a refrigerator), or they are made from a product which contains the substance (such as a plastic). The exemptions apply to the following goods:

Reference in the
Customs Tariff Act 1995

General Tariff

Example of good
granted an exemption

Heading 3004

"Medicaments ... " etc

Asthma Spray

Chapter 39

"Plastics and Articles

Polystyrene packaging
and insulation.

Chapter 84

"Nuclear reactors,
boilers, machinery and
mechanical appliances;
parts thereof"

Refrigerators, air
conditioning equipment.

New regulation 3 inserts a new Schedule 15 into the Regulations, which contains the list of ozone-depleting substances to which new regulation 13F applies, specifically:

Chlorofluorocarbons       (Part 1),

Halons       (Part 2),

Carbon Tetrachloride       (Part 3),

Methyl Chloroform       (Part 4),

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons       (Part 5),

Hydrobromofluorocarbons       (Part 6) and

Methyl Bromide       (Part 7).

B.        Technical amendments resulting from the Customs, Excise and Bounty Legislation Amendment Act 1995 - Act 85 of 1995

Regulation 4 replaces the now obsolete references to the Comptroller in the Regulations with references to the CEO (which is defined in section 4 of the Act as meaning 'the Chief Executive Officer of Customs').

The Customs, Excise and Bounty Legislation Amendment Act 1995 (the CEBLA Act) provided in subsection 18(1) that a reference to the Comptroller was to be taken on and after 1 July 1995 (the date of Royal Assent of the CEBLA Act) to be a reference to the Chief Executive Officer of Customs.

The regulations commenced on gazettal.

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