Complying with the Defence Trade Controls Act
Steps you might need to take to ensure that you comply with Defence Trade Controls
The DTC Act regulates the intangible export of items and technologies that are related to military or defence activities or are considered dual use in a non-physical form from Australia to a person outside of Australia. The DTC Act contains broad exemptions that apply to basic scientific research, technologies that are already in the public domain, and certain activities associated with research. More information about the DTC Act can be found here.
This table summarises the controls that apply to research under the DTC Act.
| DSGL controlled military technology|
- DSGL Part 1
| DSGL controlled dual-use technology|
- DSGL Part 2
|Intangible supply of applied scientific research||
Permit not required where:
Permit not required for:
|Intangible supply of basic scientific research||No permit required||No permit required|
applied scientific research
|Approval required from Minister for Defence or delegate||
No approval required
(Minister for Defence can prohibit publication in certain circumstances)
|Publication of basic scientific research||No approval required||No approval required|
applied scientific research
Permit not required for brokering:
* within or from certain countries
* conducted by certain government and security agency employees
No permit required, unless:|
* Notified by Defence, or
* know or suspect goods or technology will be used for a weapon of mass destruction program or for a military end-use
|Brokering of basic scientific research||No permit required||No permit required|
Very important and significant exemptions that apply to the research activities include:
- Basic scientific research;
- Publication of Part 2 dual use technology;
- Pre-publication supply of Part 2 dual use technology;
- Technology that is already in the public domain; and
- Verbal supply.
A permit is not required in these circumstances.
For more information, and examples of the exemptions that apply, see here.
What is the process for University of Melbourne researchers?
The DTC Act does not prohibit research activities and contains broad exemptions to controls that apply to basic scientific research and certain activities associated with research. Please see here for details of exemptions that may apply to your research.
Majority of research activities at the University are not expected to be affected by the DTC Act. This is largely because of:
- Exemptions that apply for basic scientific research – to work out where your work fits on the basic-applied spectrum, see here;
- The sensible approach Defence Export Controls (DEC) have taken with export control of applied scientific research with technology considered dual use; and
- The specificity of items that are controlled - on the Defence Strategic Goods List (DSGL).
In rare instances, applied scientific research at the University will require permission to occur under the DTC Act. Permits are granted by DEC in order for researchers to lawfully conduct their work. REI is the central contact for advice and permit application.
Researchers should follow these steps to find out whether their work could be affected by the DTC Act:
- Use the online DSGL Tool provided by DEC to assess whether you need a permit or are exempt from the DTC scheme
- Save a copy of the assessment report generated by the DSGL Tool
- If you need to apply for a permit, or are unsure, please send an email to email@example.com outlining your research. Please also include a copy of the assessment report generated by Online Tool.
- REI will coordinate the next steps.
If you need help with the DSGL Tool, further advice, or need to apply for a permit, please contact the Export Controls Officer.