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CUSTOMS (PROHIBITED IMPORTS) REGULATIONS (AMENDMENT) 1996 NO. 226EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
STATUTORY RULES 1996 No. 226
Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs
Customs Act 1901
Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations (Amendment)
Section 50 of the Customs Act 1901 (the Act) provides in pan 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) by prohibiting the importation of goods unless specified conditions or restrictions are complied with.
"(3) Without limiting the generality of paragraph (2)(c), the regulations - ... may provide that the importation of the 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 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 a specified person. Regulation 5 controls the importation of certain drugs by operation of Schedule 4 to the Regulations.
These Regulations amend Schedule 4 to prohibit the importation of the drug "4-hydroxybutanoic acid, its salts and esters" (otherwise known as "Fantasy").
This amendment complements similar amendments to the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations in relation to exportation of the drug, and the amendments to the Customs (Narcotic Substances) Regulations in relation to trafficking in the drug.
The abuse of the substance known as "Fantasy" has recently come to fight following a recent incident in Queensland in which eight people were hospitalised after taking a mixture believed to contain the substance.
The Government has derided that controls be introduced on the drug following the Queensland incident to address the public safety issues. The Government has been advised that the drug has no approved therapeutic use in Australia, and limited use in some overseas countries as an anaesthetic.
The regulations commenced on gazettal.