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Export Control Amendment Bill 2003

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(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,

the Hon Warren Truss MP)








The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Export Control Act 1982 (the Act) to:

(a)                 redraft part of subsection 11Q(5) as a consequence of the repeal of  section 16 of the Act by the Criminal Code Amendment (Theft, Fraud, Bribery and Related Offences) ACT 2000; and

(b)                amend section 23 to allow certificates issued in relation to goods for export to describe goods that originate from Christmas Island or from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (the Territories) as goods from those Territories. 


Section 16 of the Act created an offence of making a false or misleading statement in declarations furnished for the purposes of the regulations.  This offence was repealed and replaced by offences in the Criminal Code by the Criminal Code Amendment (Theft, Fraud. Bribery and Related Offences) Act 2000 .  This Bill removes the reference to section 16 in subsection 11Q(5) of the Act and replaces it with references to the relevant offences provided by subsection 137.1 ‘False or misleading information’ and subsection 137.2 ‘False or misleading documents’ in the Criminal Code.    


Section 23 is being amended as part of the Government’s preparation for the extension of the Act, by regulation, to the Territories. In its current form, section 23 would require that goods exported from the Territories be certified as exports “from Australia”.   However, as Australia’s access to its international markets has been negotiated on the basis of its reputation for freedom from pests and diseases that exist in the rest of the world, including in the Territories, it is important that certificates issued under the Act can make a distinction between goods exported from Australia and goods exported from the Territories.  Accordingly, the amendment enables certificates issued in relation to goods for export to identify whether the goods come from the Territories or from the rest of Australia.


This amendment seeks to preserve the many international trade benefits that arise from Australia’s unique pest and disease status while providing exporters in the Territories with a framework for regulating their agricultural exports.





There will be no financial impact on the Commonwealth.



Notes on clauses


Clause 1: Short Title


Clause 1 provides that the Act may be cited as the Export Control Amendment Act 2003 .


Clause 2: Commencement


Clause 2 sets out the commencement information in a table and specifies that each provision of the Act specified in column 1of the table commences or is taken to have commenced, on the day or at the time specified in column 2 of the table.


Clause 3: Schedules


This clause provides that each Act specified in a Schedule to the Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule and that any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.  


SCHEDULE 1 - Export Control Act 1982


Item 1 Subsection 11Q(5)

This item omits the reference to the repealed section 16 and substitutes that in the case of giving of information or the production of a document, the information or thing will be admissible in evidence against the individual for false and misleading statements under the Criminal Code.


Item 2 Before subsection 23(1)

This item defines Australia as not including the Territory of Christmas Island or the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands.  The effect of this definition is to exclude the Territories from the definition of ‘Australia’ to support the separate certification arrangements provided for in Item 3.


Item 3 After subsection 23(1)

This item inserts a new subsection allowing for regulations to be made for the issue of certificates for goods to be exported from the Territories and for specifying who may issue the certificates.  In addition, this amendment specifies that a certificate may state the goods are from the “Australian” Territory of Christmas Island or the “Australian” Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands.  The purpose of the provision is to clearly establish a link to Australia without compromising Australia’s pest or disease status.     


Item 4 Subsection 23(2)

This item omits the reference to subsection (1) and substitutes with a reference to subsection (1) or (1AA).  This amendment is a consequence of Item 3.