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DECO presentation provides clarification to industry

This week’s presentation in Sydney by representatives from the Defence Export Control Office (DECO) served to provide answers to some key questions about the implementation of the US-Australia Defence Trade Controls Treaty that have been put forth by members of the defence industry.

Of note were the following comments from DECO representative Patricia Dennis (paraphrased):

  • Provisions for making voluntary disclosures to DECO will likely be incorporated into the Defence Trade Controls Regulations.
  • A ‘Community Portal’ will be created that Approved Community Members from both Australia and U.S. can log into to verify Community membership status and view eligible goods lists.
  • With respect to research conducted at universities, ‘applied research’ will be restricted under the Act.
  • Companies in both countries raised concerns about the definition of a ‘facility’ and it was clarified that a facility can be as large as a building or as small as a room. The company making the application for membership will define ‘facility’ as it applies to their organisation within their application.
  • With respect to recordkeeping for phone conversations, it will be sufficient to keep a record of the nature of information that was communicated, to whom it was communicated and the time frame during which it was communicated (which may be several weeks or months). A record of each phone conversation will not need to be kept.

DECO did not provide any updates on the defence article marking requirements set out in the draft regulations at the seminar held in Sydney. It is anticipated that in the coming weeks, more information will be made available to Australian industry through continued outreach efforts.

Following further consultation with industry and academia, the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Senate Committee is due to report to Parliament on the 15th of August and it is anticipated that the bill will pass in the Spring of 2012.

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