Defence Exports and Trade


  • Australia gives effect to its international defence exports and trade controls obligations via domestic legislation, namely the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (Cth) and associated regulations.


Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (Cth)

  • The Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (Cth), which applies equally to industry and research sectors, is designed to control the transfer of defence and strategic goods technologies by regulating:
    • the intangible supply of technology relating to defence and strategic goods, such as by electronic means; and
    • publishing or brokering the supply of such goods and technology.
  • Central to the Act is the Defence and Strategic Goods List, which is divided into two parts:
    • Part 1 contains controlled military goods and technologies
    • Part 2 contains dual-use goods and technologies
  • Part 2 of the Act criminalises, without a permit:
    • supplying (or arranging another person to supply) a DSGL technology (Part 1 or Part 2 of the List)
    • publishing a DSGL technology (Part 1 of the List only) .
  • Under Part 3 of the Act, a person or body corporate may be approved as a member of the ‘Australian Community’ under the Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty, allowing authorised officers to monitor that person’s compliance with the Act.
  • Parts 4, 5 and 6 of the Act establish monitoring powers, information-gathering powers and record-keeping obligations affecting persons who hold permits under the Act or approvals as members of the Australian Community.

Defence and Strategic Goods List 2019 (Cth)

  • The Defence and Strategic Goods List 2019 (Cth) incorporates the structure and principles of the Wassenaar Arrangement:
    • Part 1: Munitions
    • Part 2: Dual-use goods and technologies
      • Category 0: Nuclear materials, facilities and equipment
      • Category 1: Materials, chemicals, microorganisms 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
      • Sensitive List of dual-use goods and technologies
      • Very Sensitive List of dual-use goods and technologies
  • Section 3.10 of the Defence and Strategic Goods List 2019 (Cth) provides that the DSGL does not control 'software' that may include commercially available software, open-source software and software updates.

Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 (Cth)

Regulatory & Policy Framework

Relevant Organisations

Inquiries & Consultations

International arrangements

Industry Materials

This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding AustLII Communities? Send feedback
This website is using cookies. More info. That's Fine