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DEC's Compliance Objectives

DEC aims to maximise voluntary compliance with Australia’s export controls. Most individuals and organisations will meet, or will try to meet, their export control obligations. However, their knowledge of the relevant export control provisions will determine the extent to which they can successfully comply. Recognising this, DEC conducts a variety of compliance activities intended to:

  • raise awareness of Australia's export controls;
  • verify activities are conducted in line with approvals issued by DEC; and
  • identify and address cases of non-compliance.

DEC’s goal is to build clients’ understanding of Australia’s export controls so they have the knowledge and ability to abide by the law. Raising awareness of the DTC Act is a particular priority for DEC because the legislation expands the scope of Australia’s export controls and is relatively recent (its offence provisions came into force from 1 April 2016). The DTC Act covers two distinct fields, each with specific implications for compliance.

(i) Strengthened Export Controls

The DTC Act brings Australia into line with international best practice by introducing controls on specific types of transfers, including the supply, publication and brokering of defence and strategic goods and technologies. Before undertaking such activities individuals and organisations first need to obtain approval from DEC. Once a permit has been issued, they need to abide by its terms and conditions.

(ii) Australia-US Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty Implementation

The DTC Act establishes a framework for the export of controlled goods between Australia and the US within an Approved Community. Organisations may apply to DEC to join the community, providing they meet the eligibility criteria. There are specific requirements for the transfer and handling of goods (“Treaty Articles”) under the Treaty that members must follow. Members also agree to cooperate with specific compliance activities by the Australian and US Government as part of their participation in this Approved Community.

DEC’s activities are targeted to support compliance with both the strengthened export controls and the Treaty implementation fields of the DTC Act.