Institutional compliance

Defence Trade Controls Act 2012

The export of controlled goods and technologies is legislated in Australia under two Acts:

The DTCA aims to ensure Australia’s national security and universities have a duty of compliance with the Act, which requires an institutional process and a compliance officer in place for approval of export of certain technologies overseas.

Compliance with the DTCA is a condition for receipt of research funding by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Controlled goods and technologies

Controlled goods and technologies that require a permit to export under the DTCA are included in the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL). The Defence Export Controls Office provides guidance and a DSGL Search Tool to check whether your goods, software or technology are controlled.

Controlled goods and technologies are categorised as follows:

  • Part 1: Defence and Related Goods
    Goods and technologies designed or adapted for military purposes or those that are inherently lethal, incapacitating or destructive
  • Part 2: Dual Use
    Commercial items and technologies that may be used or adapted for use in a military program, for the development or production of a military system or weapons of mass destruction, or contribute to the development and production of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons

Tangibility of goods and technologies

Intangible exports legislated by the DTCA relate to controlled technology that is sent from Australia in electronic form, like forwarded via email, fax or access to password-protected electronic files, among others.

Intangible supply also includes brokering or publishing. A person brokering controlled goods would be someone who arranges the supply of goods listed in the DSGL or supply of DSGL technology to a place outside of Australia. A person publishing controlled goods would be someone disseminating DSGL technology to the public by electronic or other means of publication.

In contrast, tangible exports relate to controlled goods leaving the country in a physical form, like blueprints, plans, technical data etc., and controlled technology stored on a physical medium such as a USB, computer hard drive, CD, among others.

If staff or students think compliance with the DTCA is applicable to their research, check what you would have to do here. If you have any concerns that your research may require a permit, please contact:

Dr Marc Fellman
Director of Research
Fremantle and Broome
(08) 9433 0942