Defence Export Controls (DEC)
The Defence Export Controls (DEC) agency regulates the transfer of some Australian goods, technologies and information outside of Australia which are considered to have potential application for weapons development or other military purposes. New legislation, the Defence Trade Controls Act (2012) was introduced to restrict these goods, technologies and information from contributing to the proliferation of conventional, biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.
The Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) was developed by the DEC and is a compilation of technologies and commercial goods that are deemed to be of defence or dual-use application and are now regulated.
The DSGL has two parts:
- Part 1 lists military items.
- Part 2 lists 'dual-use' items that may be used for commercial purposes but may also be used in military systems or contribute to the development of weaponry.
The restricted transfer of items in the DSGL includes:
- Exporting of physical hardware and equipment, including hard copy files, a CD, USB drive and laptop which holds information on restricted technologies and information;
- Supplying - via email or fax or by providing someone outside of Australia with passwords to access controlled technology stored electronically;
- Publication - when the publication involves items listed in Part 1 of the DSGL. ‘Publishing’ includes making information available to the public or to a section of the public via the internet or otherwise and applies to anyone in Australia, or an Australian citizen or resident or Australian organsiation located anywhere in the world.
Researchers who work to develop equipment or technologies designed to meet commercial or research needs, but which could be used or adapted for military or defence purposes, may be affected by export control legislation if they are collaborating with, or supplying goods or information to an overseas party.
Regarding research and research data, the DEC has provided a guide to assist ICT industry, software developers, academics and researchers to improve their understanding of how Australia's export control laws apply to transferring outside of Australia proliferation-sensitive information, software and technology.
If you believe that your research has or may have military or defence applications or is in a discipline covered by the DSGL, please read the information on the La Trobe University website and/or the DEC website and consult with the Manager, Ethics and Integrity to determine if you are affected.