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The Defence Trade Controls Act 2012

On 13 November 2012 the Defence Trade Control Act 2012 (the Act) received Royal Assent, putting in place new measures to control the transfer of defence and strategic goods technologies and bringing Australia in to line with international best practice.

In order to strengthen Australia's export controls, and to stop technology that can be used in conventional and weapons of mass destruction from getting into the wrong hands, the Act includes provisions regulating:

  • intangible supply of technology relating to defence and strategic goods, such as supply by electronic means; and
  • brokering the supply of Defence and Strategic Goods (DSGL) goods and technology.

Some examples of intangible means are email, fax, telephone, video conferencing, providing access to electronic files, or presentations that contain DSGL technology. The provisions apply equally to the industry, university and research sectors.

During a two year transition period, Defence worked with stakeholders to address concerns with the Act. As a result, amendments to the Act were adopted through the Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015.

The Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015 (DTC Amendment Bill) received Royal Assent on 2 April 2015 meaning that:

  • the offence provisions of the DTC Act for supplying and publishing DSGL technology and for brokering DSGL goods and technology came into force at the end of a 12 month implementation period that expired on 1 April 2016
  • individuals and organisations did not need to seek permits for any activities that will occurred during the implementation period and;
  • individuals and organisations have been able to apply for permits since 16 May 2015 in preparation for the offence provisions coming into force on 2 April 2016.

The offence provisions will not be applied retrospectively.

Defence will continue to work closely with the Strengthened Export Controls Steering Group and stakeholders as they establish internal compliance arrangements by providing significant implementation support through outreach and engagement sessions.

Detailed guidance, tools and training will be available on DECO's website shortly. A summary of the key changes to the DTC Act that will be introduced by the DTC Amendment Bill is available in the Guide to the DTC Bill .

Related Documents

Draft Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015

The Bill introduces amendments to the strengthened export controls provisions of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012. It does not amend the provisions that implement the Australian-US Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty.

Draft Explanatory Memorandum

The draft Explanatory Memorandum outlines the intentions of the Bill, and provides a clause-by-clause explanation of the changes. It includes the draft Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights.

Draft Regulation Impact Statement

The Early Assessment Regulation Impact Statement assesses the potential impacts of the Bill, and provides an early assessment of the costs and benefits of the policy options.

Marked-up Version of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012

Consolidates the Bill's provisions into the Act with the proposed amendments highlighted.

Draft Defence Trade Controls Amendment (Decision Criteria) Regulation 2015

The Amendment Regulations introduces amendments to decision criteria of the Defence Trade Controls Regulation 2013

Guide to the Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015

A plain English guide to the key changes proposed by the Bill.

Bill Media Release

Official Departmental announcement on the release of the Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015 for public consultation.

Public Consultation Presentation

The presentation provided at the Public Consultation Sessions.

Return to the Understand Strengthened Export Controls page.

A soldier uses a laptop to control a communications dish