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CUSTOMS (PROHIBITED IMPORTS) AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 2002 (NO. 2) 2002 NO. 81EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
STATUTORY RULES 2002 No. 81
Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs
Customs Act 1901
Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 2)
Section 270 of the Customs Act 1901 (the Act) provides in part that the Governor-General may make regulations not inconsistent with the Act prescribing all matters which by the Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or as may be necessary or convenient to be prescribed for giving effect to this Act or for the conduct of any business relating to Customs.
Section 50 of the Act provides in part that the Governor-General may, by regulation, prohibit the importation of goods into Australia and that power may be exercised by prohibiting the importation of goods from a specified place, or by prohibiting the importation of goods unless specified conditions or restrictions have been complied with.
The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (the PI Regulations) control the importation of the 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 an authorised person.
The purpose of the proposed Regulations is to remove the absolute prohibition on the importation of goods bearing the word 'Anzac' (and advertising material relating to such goods) and to include a regulation to allow a person to import such goods with the permission of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs. The absolute prohibition on the importation of goods bearing the word 'Anzac' was intended to ensure that inappropriate commercial exploitation of this word did not occur. Various restrictions on the use of the word have been in place since 1 July 1916 and the importation of goods bearing this word have been prohibited by regulation since 1934.
The absolute prohibition on importation is considered too restrictive in that the use of the word 'Anzac' on goods of a commemorative or historical nature are prohibited as well as those which seek to use the word for commercial gain. The restriction on importation is greater than that imposed on locally manufactured goods under the Protection of Word 'Anzac' Regulations made under the War Precautions Act Repeal Act 1920. The intended operation of the Regulations is to support the restrictions contained in the Protection of Word 'Anzac' Regulations. The personal importation of goods bearing the word 'Anzac' will be permitted. The importation of such goods that are for commercial use or otherwise significant must have a permit and will be examined to ascertain whether the goods are appropriate and do not offend against the Anzac spirit.
Details of the amending Regulations are set out in the Attachment.
The amending Regulations commenced on gazettal.
Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 2)
REGULATION 1 - NAME OF REGULATIONS
Proposed regulation 1 provides for the regulations to be named the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 2).
REGULATION 2 - COMMENCEMENT
Proposed regulation 2 provides for the regulations to commence on gazettal.
REGULATION 3 - AMENDMENT OF CUSTOMS (PROHIBITED IMPORTS) REGULATIONS 1956
Proposed regulation 3 provides for the PI Regulations to be amended as set out in Schedule 1.
SCHEDULE 1 AMENDMENTS
Item 1 - After regulation 4U
Item 1 inserts new regulation 4V into the PI Regulations which restricts the importation of goods the description of which includes the word 'Anzac' or bearing the word 'Anzac' (including words which so nearly resemble the word 'Anzac' as to be likely to deceive).
New subregulation 4V(1) defines two terms used in the proposed regulation, being 'authorised officer' and 'Minister'. 'Minister' is defined as the Minister administering the Anzac Day Act 1995. This Minister is currently the Minister for Veterans' Affairs. 'Authorised officer' is defined as an officer of the department administered by the Minister (currently the Department of Veterans' Affairs) and authorised in writing by the Minister.
New subregulation 4V(2) provides that, in this regulation, a reference to the word 'Anzac' includes a reference to a word so nearly resembling the word 'Anzac' as to be likely to deceive.
New subregulation 4V(3) provides that the importation of goods the description of which includes the word 'Anzac' or bearing the word 'Anzac' or advertising material relating to those goods is prohibited unless:
(a) the person importing the goods is the holder of a written permission granted by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs or an authorised officer; and
(b) the permission or a copy of the permission is produced to the Collector at or before the time of importation.
New subregulation 4V(4) requires that an application for a permission be in writing.
New subregulation 4V(5) enables the Minister or authorised officer to specify conditions or requirements which must be complied with by the holder of the permission. These conditions or requirements may specify the time at or before which a condition or requirement must be complied with and the time may be either before or after the importation of the goods. This enables the Minister to ensure that the goods proposed to be imported would not be used inappropriately.
New subregulation 4V(6) gives the Minister or authorised officer the power to revoke a permission where the holder does not comply with a condition or requirement specified under new subregulation 4V(5). The revocation must be in writing.
New subregulation 4V(7) makes it clear that this power of revocation is not limited to circumstances where the holder has been charged with an offence under subsection 50(4) of the Customs Act for not complying with the condition or requirement.
ITEM 2 - SCHEDULE 1, ITEM 13
Regulation 3 of the PI Regulations provides that 'the importation of goods specified in Schedule 1 is prohibited absolutely.'
Item 13 of Schedule 1 specifies:
Goods the description of which includes the word 'Anzac' or bearing the word 'Anzac' or a word so nearly resembling the word 'Anzac' as to be likely to deceive.
Item 1 of Schedule 1 specifies:
Advertising material relating to any goods covered by this Schedule.
Proposed item 2 would omit item 13 from the Schedule.
New regulation 4V makes the importation of advertising material relating to goods bearing the word 'Anzac' conditional on obtaining the necessary permission.