On 2 April 2016, the offence provisions of the Defence Trade
Controls Act 2012 (Cth) (DTCA) came into
force, making it a criminal offence for a person to supply, publish
or broker certain defence-related goods and technologies without an
appropriate permit or approval.
The DTCA regulates the intangible supply of controlled goods and
technology, such as supplies made over the internet. Companies and
research institutions may therefore be exposed to criminal
liability under the DTCA even if they do not physically export
goods and technology outside Australia. The DTCA regulations apply
to Australian citizens, Australian bodies corporate and Australian
residents anywhere in the world.
Persons in breach of the offence provisions face significant
penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment or fines of up to
$450,000. The provisions were enlivened after an extended 12-month
implementation period following amendments to the Act in 2015 in
response to stakeholder feedback.
The DTCA applies to the specific goods and technologies listed
on the Defence
and Strategic Goods List (DSGL). The DSGL is a
lengthy and highly technical document that is designed to capture
items that have been specifically designed for, or which can
potentially be adapted for, military application. This can include
nuclear materials, chemicals, toxins and
micro-organisms, advanced computers and electronics,
telecommunications and information security systems and other
technologies with the potential for military application,
regardless of whether those technologies were developed principally
for commercial application.
Companies and research institutions involved in cutting-edge
research and development may be affected by the DTCA and are
encouraged to familiarise themselves with any categories of
controlled goods and technology in the DSGL that are relevant to
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The Ugg boots case revolves around who holds the trade mark rights to the word 'Ugg' in relation to sheepskin boots.
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