Australia - Country Commercial Guide
US Export Controls

Includes the U.S. government export controls that companies need to abide by when exporting to this country

Last published date: 2021-08-19

When exporting products to other countries, there are a few things that exporters must keep in mind.  To determine whether an exporter needs to obtain an export license to ship their product, the exporter should look for an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN).  An exporter may check the manufacturer’s website to find the ECCN or do a self-classification on the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) website. The exporter can also request an online classification from BIS which will take a minimum of 14 days.

90% of products do not have an ECCN.  In this case, the goods may be considered EAR99s.  EAR99 refers to a basket category that covers most commercial items. Most EAR99s are low-tech goods—like clothing or art.  These items can be exported to most places without an export license.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:

1.   If the good is going to an embargoed country

2.   If the good is going to a prohibited end user

3.   If the good is in support of a prohibited end use

Screening the end user to determine if they are prohibited is part of the due diligence required of the exporter.  EAR99s are also subject to Export Administration Regulations. Companies, persons, and items can be found on the “Lists to Check” database, which will help exporters decide if they can export their goods and whether they need an export license. This list can be found on the BIS website.

Australia is an active member of the major international arms control treaties (Australian treaties library at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/dfat/) and all international export control regimes that seek to monitor and control the global movement of goods and technologies applicable for use in military or weapons of mass destruction programs. This includes items developed either specifically for defense purposes or for civil application that can be adapted for use in arms programs, also referred to as dual-use goods.

A national export control system is the mechanism for ensuring that Australia upholds its international obligations, while also maintaining integrity of its national interest.  Australia controls the export of defense and dual-use goods through a comprehensive licensing system established under the Customs Act 1901 and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (prevention of proliferation) Act 1995 (WMD Act) and associated regulations.

Additional Information

The Defense Trade Control Act 2012 (the Act) received Royal Assent on November 13, 2012, putting in place new measures to control the transfer of defense and strategic goods technologies and bringing Australia into line with international best practice. The Act implements the Australia-United States Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty and strengthens Australia’s export controls for defense and dual-use goods.

As of May 2015, individuals or organizations will need to seek permission to supply controlled technology to an entity outside Australia.

The Treaty removes the requirement for individual licenses to be obtained for each export and allows for the license-free movement of eligible defense articles within the Approved Australian and U.S. Communities.

The Customs Amendment (Military End-use) Act 2012 also introduced a power to prohibit the export of “non-regulated” goods that may contribute to a military end-use that may prejudice Australia’s security, defense, or international relations. It is therefore recommended that the regulations mandated by the ITAR discussed above are carefully followed.

A list that consolidates eleven export screening lists of the Departments of Commerce, State, and the Treasury into a single search as an aid to industry in conducting electronic screens of potential parties to regulated transactions is available on the Consolidated Screanign List page.