Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Select Legislative Instrument 2010 No. 14


Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Home Affairs


Customs Act 1901


Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations 2010 (No. 1)


Subsection 270(1) 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 the Act.

Section 50 of the Act provides that the Governor-General may, by regulation, prohibit the importation of goods into Australia. This power may be exercised by prohibiting the importation of goods absolutely, or by prohibiting the importation of goods unless specified conditions or restrictions are complied with.

The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (the PI Regulations) control the importation of the goods specified in various regulations and Schedules.

The purpose of the amending Regulations is to amend the PI Regulations to implement sanctions against Eritrea imposed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1907 (2009), which was adopted on 23 December 2009 (the Resolution).

Paragraph 6 of the Resolution provides, in part, that all Member States should prevent the procurement of arms or related matériel from Eritrea by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, whether or not the goods originate in the territory of Eritrea.

The amending Regulations insert new regulation 4ZA into the PI Regulations to prohibit the importation from Eritrea of arms or related matériel, unless the written permission of the Minister for Foreign Affairs (the Minister) or an authorised person is produced to a Collector at or before the time of importation.

The Minister can authorise an employee of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to be an authorised person for the purposes of the amending Regulations.

The Minister or an authorised person, in deciding whether to grant a permission to import, must take into account Australia's relations with other countries and Australia's obligations under international law.

The Minister or an authorised person can also include conditions and other requirements in a permission and the Minister can revoke or modify a permission in certain circumstances.

The remaining elements of the prohibitions in paragraph 6 of the Resolution are implemented under the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions - Eritrea) Regulations 2010.


No consultation was undertaken specifically in relation to the amending Regulations as they implement Australia’s international obligations under the Resolution.

The amending Regulations commence on the day after they are registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.


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