In 2007, the Australian and the United States Governments signed the Treaty between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United States of America concerning Defense Trade Cooperation (the Treaty). The Treaty is intended to improve the efficiency of eligible two-way transfers between Australia and the US by facilitating the export of controlled goods within an Approved Community without the need for an export licence. The Treaty came into force on 16 May 2013.

The implementing legislation, the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (the Act), commenced on 6 June 2013. The Defence Trade Control Regulations 2013 is the Legislative Instrument made under the Act.

The benefits of the Treaty are shared by Government and defence industry and depending on the activity, may provide:

  • reduced delivery time for new defence projects;
  • improved sustainment, by permitting transfers within the Approved Community without further Australian or US approvals;
  • a more efficient way for US companies to share technical data with the Australian Community without licences;
  • consistent compliance requirements across the Australian Community; and
  • avoidance of delays sometimes associated with the export licensing process.

Participation in the Treaty is voluntary, and the Treaty provisions will only apply to organisations approved for membership. Membership to the Australian Community will not affect current export authorisations or the ability to operate under the existing export control regime.

The Approved Community comprises an Australian Community and a US Community. Both communities include government and non-government entities that have applied for and been approved as members of the Approved Community. Each community is managed by their respective Government.

For information on the US Community, see the United States Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls website.

To join the Approved Community you must submit an Application to join the Australian Community. Further details on how to join the Australian Community can be found at the link at the top right of this page.

Australian Government agencies should contact Defence for further details on eligibility for Australian Community membership.

Contact the Australian Trade Treaty team