Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Small Business, Construction and Customs

Customs Act 1901

Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations (Amendment)

Section 50 of the Customs Act 1901 provides in part that:

"1)       The Governor-General may, by regulation, prohibit the importation of goods into Australia.

2)       The power conferred by the last preceding subsection may be exercised - ... (c) by prohibiting the importation of goods unless specified conditions or restrictions are complied with.

3)       Without limiting the generality of paragraph (2)(c), the Regulations - ...(a) may provide that the importation of the goods is prohibited unless a licence, permission, consent or approval to import the goods or a class of goods in which the goods are included has been granted as prescribed by the regulations; and ..."

The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations (the Regulations) control the importation of the goods specified in the various Regulations or the Schedules to the Regulations, by prohibiting importation absolutely, or making importation subject to the permission of a Minister of State or a specified person.


The Regulations give effect to the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council Resolution 757 of 30 May 1992, concerning a total trade embargo on imports from Serbia (referred to officially as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)).

This sanctions regime and the exports sanctions regime in the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations are similar to the total trade embargoes previously enacted for Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait, as follows:

a)       the sanctions regime is to apply to the importation of all goods into Australia, being goods from Serbia or goods from any other country of Serbian origin.

       Serbia is to be officially described as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro);

b)       the importation of goods into Australia is to be prohibited unless the permission in writing of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Trade, or an authorised person (being a person in that Minister's Department) is obtained, and that permission is produced to a Collector,

       in line with the Iraq sanctions, in granting any permission the Minister or authorised person must have regard to the terms of the UN Security Council Resolution (which, for example, permits trade for humanitarian purposes ie. food and medicine).

c) the sanctions are to commence on Gazettal.

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