Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Select Legislative Instrument 2010 No. 275


Subject - Customs Act 1901

Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations 2010 (No. 2)


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 matters required or permitted by the Act to be prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or 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 and that the power may be exercised by prohibiting the importation of goods in specified circumstances or unless specified conditions or restrictions are complied with. Subsection 50(3) of the Act states that the regulations may prohibit the importation of the goods unless a licence, permission, consent or approval to import them has been granted.


The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (the Principal Regulations) control the importation of the goods specified therein, by prohibiting importation absolutely, or making importation subject to the permission of a Minister or a specified person.


The purpose of the amending Regulations was to amend the Principal Regulations to improve their technical operation by improving consistency with State and Territory firearms control legislation and removing ambiguity around the current import permit scheme.


The amending Regulations:


·         replaced all instances of the word ‘replica’ with ‘imitation’ (for consistency with State and Territory legislation);

·         clarified the discretionary nature of the power to grant import permission such that the Attorney-General may, but is not obliged to, give permission to import where specified conditions are met;

·         gave certainty to shooters who take their firearms overseas for legitimate reasons that they can obtain permission to re-import them upon their return to Australia if they meet an established criteria;

·         prescribed the form by which to apply for import permission; and

·         retitled the ‘Police Authorisation test’ to the ‘Police Certification test’ to clarify that police do not ‘authorise’ an importation, but rather certify that certain conditions have been met by the applicant.


The Act specified no conditions that needed to be satisfied before the power to make the amending Regulations was exercised.


Public consultation was not necessary as the amending Regulations were of a minor or machinery nature and did not alter any substantive rules relating to the import permit scheme.


The amending Regulations are a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.


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



Authority: Section 270 of the Customs Act 1901






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