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The Defence and Strategic Goods List

Important Note: The Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) has been amended. A consolidated version of this updated Defence and Strategic Goods List is now available. The DSGL lists the defence and dual-use goods, software and technologies that are subject to regulation by the Customs Act 1901 and the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012. An Explanatory Statement summarising the changes from the previous DSGL has also been published.

The DSGL is the list that specifies the goods, software or technology that is regulated when exported, supplied, brokered or published. A permit is required when exporting, supplying, brokering or publishing DSGL items, unless there is an exemption.

The Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) is a compilation of military and commercial goods and technologies that Australia regulates. The goods, software and technologies on the list are agreed in conjunction with members of various international non-proliferation and export control regimes. These items either have a military use, or can be used to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The DSGL also contains Australia-specific controls relating to firearms and explosives.

To register your interest in being consulted on changes to the DSGL, go to the Defence and Strategic Goods List Consultation page.

The Online DSGL Tool

DEC has developed an online version of the DSGL which is intended to simplify the identification of whether goods, software or technology are listed. The DSGL search feature of the Online DSGL Tool enables users to conduct text based searches of the DSGL and returns search results which match against specific control items.

The control item pages have been developed to display not only the relevant control text, but also any other controls that may apply, such as software and technology controls that apply to a particular good. The page will also display the definitions that are relevant to the control item and any notes or other reference material that are applicable.

These results can be printed out from the Online DSGL Tool.

How do I know if my goods or technologies are controlled?

In many cases, the controls on goods and technology can be complex. If you are unsure; we recommend you use the Online DSGL Tool. More generally, the following guidance is a basic outline of how to identify if a particular good, software or technology is subject to control on the DSGL.

To establish whether items are controlled, you need to check whether the goods themselves are listed, and then whether related materials, equipment, software or technology are also listed. If a good or piece of technology is listed in the DSGL, you must check the technical specifications/performance of your item against the control thresholds in the DSGL.

For many items, the associated technology will only be controlled if it is 'required' for the 'development', 'production' or in some cases the 'use' of the controlled item.

Example of 'required' technology - Computers

Section 4A001.a.1 of the DSGL lists electronic computers and related equipment, electronic assemblies and specifically designed components that are specially designed to operate at an ambient temperature below 228 K (-45°C) or above 358 K (85°C). Software and technology for the 'development', 'production' and 'use' of these computers is controlled. This control does not apply to computers specifically designed for civil automobile or railway train applications.

The technology controls only apply to the technology which is 'required' for the computer to operate at those temperatures; for example, connector and circuit designs and configurations which can be sensitive to high and low temperatures. Other more general technology that does not influence the computer's ability to function at high and low temperatures, or technology that does not contribute to the computer achieving that controlled level of performance (operating above 85°C and below -45°C), is not controlled.

The technology in the DSGL mostly relates to goods that are controlled in the DSGL. However, some technology is controlled in its own right (i.e. it may not be related to a controlled good). These controls can be found in section 'E' of each category.

If after using the Online DSGL Tool you are unable to determine if your item is controlled in the DSGL, you can either submit an:

  • 'Application to Export Controlled Goods and Technology' - is available on the Forms Page on this website. This form is only for the purpose of seeking advice as to whether goods, software or technology are controlled by the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL); or
  • 'Application to Export or Supply Controlled Goods and Technology' - is available on the Forms Page on this website. This form should be completed if you are seeking an approval to export goods or supply technology.

These requests take up to 15 working days to assess.

DSGL exemptions for technology

The DSGL contains a number of exemptions that can apply to technology that may otherwise be controlled. These include technology that is::

  • 'in the public domain' - if the technology is already available to the public, for example, in publications, product brochures and public blogs, websites, podcasts or databases, then it is not controlled. This exemption applies to all software and technology in the DSGL;
  • 'basic scientific research' - any technology which extends only to the "fundamental principles of phenomena or observable facts", and is "not primarily directed towards a specific practical aim or objective", falls within the definition of basic scientific research, and would therefore not be controlled. This exemption applies to all technology listed on the DSGL.
  • the minimum necessary information for patent applications. This exemption does not apply to nuclear technology listed in Category 0. This exemption applies to the supply of DSGL technology where it is done for the purpose of 'seeking a patent' in Australia or overseas. 'Seeking a patent' includes lodging a patent application and the supply of DSGL technology to a person or organisation (e.g. a Patent Office, patent attorney, research collaborator or a patent review panel) that is directly associated with the lodging (or potential lodging) of a patent application, or as a result of the patent examination process. Supply for a purpose that is not directly related to seeking a patent will require a permit (unless other exemptions apply). This includes supply of DSGL technology to a research collaborator located overseas before a decision is made to seek a patent. Once a provisional patent application is filed, any supplies of DSGL technology to further develop an invention prior to preparing/submitting a complete patent application will require a permit. Supplies of DSGL technology to locate investors and determine overseas markets (including forwarding a recently-filed provisional application) will require a permit. The process of publishing a patent (or an unsuccessful application) into the public domain is covered by this exemption. Until such time as that information exists in the public domain, it is still controlled and would require a permit to be supplied if it is not for the purpose of 'seeking a patent' and no other exemptions applied; and
  • medical equipment specially designed for medical end-use. This exemption applies to equipment that incorporates an item controlled in the dual use section (Part 2) of the DSGL. This exemption does not include equipment that simply has a medical end-use. For example, certain cryocoolers that are part of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machines are controlled, however, the NMR machine is specifically designed for medical end-use and therefore does not require a permit for export even though it contains a controlled item.

Other exemptions may apply.

Navigating the DSGL

A Quick Reference Guide has been compiled to familiarise you with the structure and content of the DSGL .

The DSGL is split into two parts:

  • Part 1 lists munitions (or military) items; and
  • Part 2 lists dual-use items; that is, items that may be used for commercial purposes, but may be used in military systems or for weapon of mass destruction purposes.

Part 1

For military goods, software or technology refer to Part 1 - Munitions List (ML). You should refer to sections within the ML to establish all the relevant controls, i.e. goods, software and technology:

  • Refer to sections ML1 to ML 20 for controls on military goods (or munitions).
  • Refer to ML901 to ML910 for controls on civilian firearms and explosive equipment.
  • Refer to ML21 for controls on software related to military goods.
  • Refer to ML22 for controls on technology related to military goods.

Part 2

For dual-use goods, equipment, software or technology refer to Part 2 - Dual-Use List. Part 2 of the DSGL is further split into categories:

  • Category 0 - Nuclear Materials
  • Category 1 - Materials, Chemical, Micro-organisms and Toxins
  • Category 2 - Materials Processing
  • Category 3 - Electronics
  • Category 4 - Computers
  • Category 5 - Telecommunications and Information Security
  • Category 6 - Sensors and Lasers
  • Category 7 - Navigation and Avionics
  • Category 8 - Marine
  • Category 9 - Aerospace and Propulsion

Within the dual-use list you may have to refer to several sections to establish all the relevant controls, i.e. goods, equipment, software and technology.

  • To establish the controls on dual-use goods refer to the 'A' section of each category (Systems, Equipment and Components), i.e. 0A.
  • To establish the controls on test, inspection and production equipment related to a dual-use category refer to the 'B' section of each category (Inspection and Production Equipment), i.e. 0B.
  • To establish the controls on materials related to a dual-use category refer to the 'C' section of each category (Materials), i.e. 0C.
  • To establish the controls on software related to items in a dual-use category refer to the 'D' section of each category, i.e. 0D.
  • To establish the controls on technology related to items in a dual-use category refer to the 'E' section of each category, i.e. 0E.

Return to the Manage Controlled Goods page.