Defence Export Controls

Australia’s Defence Export Control Office (DECO) is responsible to the Minister of Defence for regulating the export, transfer and brokering of defence and strategic goods and technologies to any place outside of Australia.

The Customs Act 1901 regulates the tangible export of goods or technology and the Defence Trade Controls Act (Cwth) 2012 (the Act) controls the intangible export, brokering and publication of technologies.

The Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill was passed by Parliament and has been in affect from 1 April 2016.

If your research plans or data will be shared or sent overseas, or used in an overseas conference and are included in the Defence and Strategic Good list (DSGL), you may require a permit to be authorised by the Defence Export Control Office.

The DSGL online tool will help you identify if your research materials or activities will require a permit. There is also the DSGL Quick Reference Guide which has been compiled to assist in familiarising the structure and content of the DSGL.

Researchers are responsible for ensuring they have obtained appropriate permits or licences as may be required for any research materials that are to be exported.

Defence and Strategic Goods List

The Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) is comprised of two parts:

  • Part 1 lists munitions (defence and related goods)
  • Part 2 lists dual-use items; that is, items that may be used for commercial purposes, but may be used in military systems or for the development of weapon of mass destruction purposes. 

Goods and technology included in the DSGL are restricted under the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention and Proliferation) Act 1995 and the Customs Act 1901  and may not be exported from Australia unless a licence or permission has been granted by the Minister for Defence.

Online DSGL Tool

The Online DSGL tool consists of two parts, the Activity Questionnaire and the DSGL Search Tool. A permit from Defence Export Controls Office (DECO) is only required when an export, supply, brokering or publishing activity is controlled and the goods, software or technology are listed in the DSGL. It is recommended that if you are new to export controls and are unsure if your activity will be controlled, you should complete the Activity Questionnaire first.

If after using the Online DSGL Tool, you are unable to determine if your item is controlled in the DSGL, you will need to submit an application to DECO for assessment. The Office of Research will work with you in submitting your application to ensure you are registered and any required licences are obtained.  It is important to note that it is the individual, not the institution, who is accountable under the Act for non-compliance. The Office of Research will work with researchers to assist them in fulfilling their compliance obligations.

Applications can take up to 15 working days to assess with more complex applications taking considerably longer.  It is important to include this process early in your research planning.

Defence export controls tools and resources

The Defence Export Controls Office has provided free online Awareness Training modules to help gain a better understanding of Australia's System of Export controls legislation, regulation and compliance. There is also the Scenarios module which contains examples applicable to the Research and Academic sectors.

Quick reference tools and resources

Further information

For enquiries please contact Defence Export Controls or our Research Integrity Office.