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CUSTOMS (PROHIBITED IMPORTS) AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 2010 (NO. 3) (SLI NO 315 OF 2010)
Select Legislative Instrument 2010 No. 315
Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Home Affairs
Customs Act 1901
Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations 2010 (No. 3)
Customs (Prohibited Exports) Amendment Regulations 2010 (No. 3)
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.
Sections 50 and 112 of the Act provides, in part, that the Governor-General may, by regulation, prohibit the importation or exportation, respectively, of goods into or from Australia and that the powers may be exercised by prohibiting the importation or exportation of goods absolutely, or by prohibiting the importation or exportation of goods unless specified conditions or restrictions are complied with.
The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (the PI Regulations) and the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 (the PE Regulations) control the importation or exportation of goods specified in the various regulations and Schedules.
Regulation 4ZA of the PI Regulations and regulation 13CR of the PE Regulations restrict the importation and exportation of certain goods to and from Eritrea. These regulations were enacted to implement Australia’s obligations to impose sanctions against Eritrea under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1907 of 2009.
Regulation 13CH of the PE Regulations restricts the exportation of paramilitary equipment to Sierra Leone. This regulation was enacted to implement Australia’s obligations to impose sanctions against Sierra Leone under UNSC Resolutions 1132 of 1997 and 1171 of 1998, and prohibits the unauthorised export to Sierra Leone of arms or related materiel.
The amending Regulations:
· limit the class of persons who can be authorised by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to issue an export or import permit in relation to certain goods going to or coming from Eritrea, to SES employees of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade only; and
· give effect to the termination of the sanctions against Sierra Leone under UNSC Resolution 1940 of 2010 by repealing regulation 13CH of the PE Regulations.
Both regulation 13CR of the PE Regulations and regulation 4ZA of the PI Regulations permit an authorised person to issue an export or import permit in relation to certain goods going to, or coming from Eritrea. An “authorised person” was defined as an “employee of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who is authorised by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to be an authorised person for the purpose of the Regulations.”
The Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances raised concerns about the wide ambit of this authorisation power. In response to these concerns, the PE Regulations and the PI Regulations have been amended to limit the range of officials who can be authorised to act as an “authorised person” from any employee of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to SES employees of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade only.
The UNSC recently adopted Resolution 1940 of 2010 which terminated the sanctions imposed against Sierra Leone under Resolutions 1132 of 1997 and 1171 of 1998. The amending Regulations give effect to resolution 1940 of 2010 by repealing regulation 13CH of the PE Regulations.
The amending Regulations also omit all other references to regulation 13CH in the PE Regulations, and make technical amendments to existing provisions, as a consequence of the repeal of regulation 13CH.
No consultation was undertaken specifically in relation to the amending Regulations as they implement Australia’s international obligations under the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
The amending Regulations commence on the day after they are registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.