18 December 2023

The Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2023 is before parliament and it certainly looks like it could be one of those “don’t judge a bill by its title” situations.

While the controls are relevant to defence technology, they also relate to “dual use” technology, which covers numerous items with civil applications. For example, certain encryption functionalities, and specific technology relating to navigation, avionics, computers are presently controlled. But that is just a small sample. Even some commercially available cameras are subject to controls.

If implemented the expanded controls are going to require significant navigation. One implication of the bill is to prohibit the transfer of controlled technology to a “foreign person”, even within Australia, unless a permit has been granted.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee.

So now is the time to have a say on what is a sensitive and increasingly complex regulatory ecosystem. To that end, contact our competition and regulatory compliance team for more on how you can get involved.