Australia’s export controls regulate the export and supply of military and dual-use goods and technologies. Defence Export Controls (DEC) aims to maximise compliance by working with individuals, organisations and companies to help them meet their obligations under Australian law. Compliance with Australia’s export control system helps ensure these transfers are in line with Australia’s national interests and international obligations.

Specifically, DEC is responsible for monitoring and promoting compliance with:

  • Regulation 13E of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 in relation to the exportation of military and dual-use goods;
  • Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (DTC Act);
  • Treaty between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United States of America concerning Defense Trade Cooperation (the US Trade Treaty);
  • Section 112 of the Customs Act 1901 in relation to the export of goods for a military end-use; and
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995 (WMD Act).

Most individuals and organisations work hard to meet their export control obligations. However, their ability to comply relies on a full awareness of the relevant export controls, which can be complex or daunting at first glance. Recognising this, DEC conducts a variety of outreach and compliance activities intended to:

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

DEC understands that for those who are new to Australia’s export control legislation, compliance can initially be challenging. Even individuals and companies committed to fulfilling their responsibilities may unintentionally commit breaches. Our aim is to work with entities to identify the causes of a breach and to help them put measures in place to prevent future breaches. It is important to acknowledge, however, that breaching export controls is a criminal offence and there are some circumstances that may result in more serious action being taken.

DEC recommends that regular, large-scale or sensitive technology exporters implement an Export Control Compliance Program (ECCP). Further information on ECCPs can be found in How to comply.

To engage with DEC for a more detailed explanation of how to comply and what best-practice looks like, contact us.