Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Science and Small Business

Customs Act 1901

Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations (Amendment)

Section 50 of the Customs Act 1901 (the Act) provides in part that:

"(1)       The Governor-General may, by regulation, prohibit the importation of goods into Australia.

(2)       The power conferred by the last preceding subsection may be exercised -... (c) prohibiting the importation of goods unless specified conditions or restrictions are complied with.

(3)       Without limiting the generality of paragraph (2)(c), the regulations -... (a) may provide that the importation of goods is prohibited unless a licence, permission, consent or approval to import the goods or a class of goods in which the goods are included has been granted as prescribed by the regulations; and ..."

The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations (the Regulations) control the importation of 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 a specified person.


The Regulations give effect to the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 820 of 17 April 1993, to tighten sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) by ensuring that trade sanctions already in place against that country are not circumvented by diverting goods through UN Protected Areas in the Republic of Croatia and those areas of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the control of Bosnian Serb forces.

The UN Security Council Resolution requires all States to prevent such movement of goods, without the proper authorisation from the Government of the Republic of Croatia or the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The sanctions regime and the exports sanctions regime in the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations are similar to the total trade embargo previously enacted for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) in Statutory Rules 1992 No. 154, as follows:

(a)        the sanctions regime is to apply to the importation of all goods into Australia, being:

(i)       goods from:

- the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; or

- the Republic of Croatia; and

(ii)       goods from any other country that originate from: - the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; or - the Republic of Croatia.

(b)       the importation of goods into Australia is to be prohibited unless the permission in writing of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, or an authorised person (being a person in that Minister's Department) is obtained, and that permission is presented to a Collector.

-        in fine with the 1992 sanctions, in granting any permission the Minister or authorised person must have regard to Australia's international obligations (which under the terms of the UN Security Council Resolution, for example, will require consultation with the diplomatic representatives of the relevant Republics to ensure that permissions will only be granted once the appropriate authorities of the Governments of those Republics are obtained).

The Regulations commence on gazettal.

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