Policy

Export Controls - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This Export Controls Policy details the essential aspects of export control laws and the University’s commitment to comply with, and to assist individuals associated with the University who Work with, or have the potential to Work with, Defence and strategic goods, technology and software to comply with, those laws.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Defence and strategic goods, technology and software – goods, technology and software listed in the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL)

Defence and Strategic Goods List(DSGL) - Australia's export control list of regulated Defence and strategic goods, technology and software

Export – when Defence and strategic goods, technology and software are moved from Australia to a place outside Australia. This includes the transmission and Publication of technology listed in the DSGL

Publication – when technology listed in the DSGL is made available to the public or a section of the public by placing it on the internet or otherwise

Work – includes an intention to work or allows another person to work

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

Adherence to this Policy and associated Procedures is incumbent upon every individual associated with the University who Works with, or has the potential to Work with, Defence and strategic goods, technology and software. This includes staff, students and affiliates of, and any other individual associated with, the University.

4. Policy Statement

Export control laws regulate the Export from Australia to a place outside Australia of Defence and strategic goods, technology and software. This includes the transmission and Publication of certain controlled information.

While research or teaching activities may not be specifically related to weapons or defence, they may involve Defence and strategic goods, technology or software. Export of these items from Australia to a place outside Australia requires a permit.

Defence and strategic goods, technology and software are prohibited from being Exported or published without a permit.

The University is committed to full compliance with all export control laws that apply to its research, academic and business activities.

5. Export Control Compliance

5.1 Export control laws

In Australia, the central point of reference for regulating the Export of Defence and strategic goods, technology and software is the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL). The goods, software and technologies on the DSGL are agreed in conjunction with members of various international non-proliferation and export control regimes. The DSGL is a legislative instrument made under paragraph 112(2A) (aa) of the Customs Act 1901 and is subject to regular amendment.

The Customs Act 1901 and the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 prohibit the (tangible) physical Export of defence and strategic goods, technology and software without a permit from the Minister for Defence.

The Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 and Defence Trade Controls Regulation 2013 prohibit the (intangible) supply by electronic means and Publication of technology listed in the DSGL and the overseas brokering of Defence and strategic goods, technology and software without a permit or approval from the Minister of Defence.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995 controls any tangible or intangible goods, technologies or services that could be used in a Weapons of Mass Destruction program. This Act is ‘catch-all’ legislation and can only be used if other controls do not apply.

Section 112BA of the Customs Act 1901 allows the Minister for Defence to prohibit the Export of non-regulated tangible goods or tangible technology that may contribute to a military end-use that would prejudice Australia's security, defence or international relations. These provisions are also a ‘catch-all’ control.

5.2 Offences

The Export of Defence and strategic goods, technology and software or the supply or Publication of technology listed in the DSGL from Australia to a place outside Australia or the brokering of Defence and strategic goods, technology and software without a permit constitutes an offence and is subject to a fine not exceeding 2,500 penalty units or imprisonment for 10 years, or both.

It is also an offence to supply technology listed in the DSGL outside the terms of a permit and is subject to a fine of 60 penalty units.

Contravention of a recordkeeping requirement under the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 incurs a penalty of 30 penalty units.

One penalty unit = $180 (subject to amendment from time to time).

5.3 Compliance responsibility

The University is committed to compliance with export control laws.

Responsibility for compliance with those laws is shared between the University and individuals associated with the University who Work with, or has the potential to Work with, Defence and strategic goods, technology and software.

The University is responsible for implementing appropriate compliance measures and providing guidance to, and raising the awareness of, individuals associated with the University who Work with, or have the potential to Work with, Defence and strategic goods, technology and software.

Individuals are also responsible for compliance with export control laws.

This responsibility stems both from the obligations imposed on individuals by export control laws and the premise that researchers have the expertise in understanding the type and foreseeable application of products, data and technology that result from their research endeavours.

This responsibility is reflected in many of the University’s policies, in particular the Code of Conduct and the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy.

Given the significance of the potential penalties for breaches of export control laws, the University will ensure individuals associated with the University who Work with, or have the potential to Work with, Defence and strategic goods, technology and software is made aware of their compliance responsibilities and provided with the necessary tools and processes to enable them to comply with those laws.

5.4 University acknowledgement and undertakings

The University acknowledges the need for adequate resourcing for compliance with export control laws.

The University undertakes to:

  • understand and comply with all applicable export control laws and internal University controls established to ensure compliance with those laws;
  • work closely with individuals associated with the University who Work with, or have the potential to Work with, Defence and strategic goods, technology and software to develop solution based processes which further research whilst ensuring compliance with applicable export control laws;
  • develop processes to ensure export control education, training and guidance is provided to all individuals associated with the University who Work with, or have the potential to Work with, Defence and strategic goods, technology and software; and
  • maintain a close working relationship with the Defence Export Controls branch.

5.5 Export Controls Advisory Sub-Committee

An export controls advisory sub-committee is established as a sub-committee of the Research Committee which is a committee of the Academic Board.

5.6 Related policies and procedures

Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Bronwyn Harch

Procedures

Export Controls and Sanction Regimes - Procedures

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1.0 Purpose and Scope

The University of Queensland (UQ or the University) is required to comply with Australian export controls and sanctions legislation. Non-compliance with export controls and sanctions legislation may incur significant penalties to the University and the individual, including prosecution for criminal offences.

This procedure should be read in conjunction with:

This procedure applies to all University individuals who are staff, students and affiliates who conduct, or assist with the conduct of research at, or on behalf of, the University.

2.0 Process and Key Controls

  1. Underpinning Australia's system of export controls and sanctions is a legislative framework (refer section 7.2). While undertaking University responsibilities or activities, individuals must comply with the laws of the State and the Commonwealth and conduct activities in a manner consistent with national strategic and security objectives.
  2. Individuals must ensure appropriate approvals and permits are obtained before the commencement of research and that conditions of approvals are adhered to throughout the research.
  3. Staff and conjoint appointments where UQ is the lead employer must:
  4. Travelling to sanctioned countries with controlled information may be considered a breach of export controls and/or sanctions. Overseas travel must be conducted in accordance with the Information Management Policy and Procedures.
  5. Complaints about the conduct of research, including potential breaches, will be dealt with in accordance with:

Export controls

  1. Individuals must determine whether the activity they are undertaking and the goods, software and technology they are using are subject to controls.
  2. The Research Ethics and Integrity office will provide advice and mediate all licence and permit applications.
  3. Permit and approval holders must monitor research according to the permit and approval conditions and promptly report suspected non-compliance.

Sanctions

  1. A sanctions compliance assessment must be completed for appointments of new staff, visiting researchers, visiting students and higher degree by research candidates. Activities must be monitored for compliance over time.
  2. A sanctions compliance assessment must be completed for research collaborations and consultancies

3.0 Key Requirements

3.1 Export controls

Australian export controls legislation regulates the export, supply, publication and brokering from Australia to a place outside Australia of proliferation-sensitive items:

  • Export: refers to the tangible/physical transfer of items from Australia to a place outside Australia. Examples include transfer by ship, aircraft, post or courier, which may involve carriage in luggage or technology (blueprints, diagrams, notes) stored on a physical medium (e.g., computer hard drive).
  • Supply: refers to intangible/non-physical transfers. Examples include transfer via email, fax, telephone, video conferencing, or providing access to electronic files.

Proliferation-sensitive items refer to those listed in the relevant Acts (refer section 7.2) and include defence and strategic goods, software and technologies. The Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) is a legislative instrument that defines controlled goods, software and technologies.

The DSGL consists of two parts:

  • Part 1: includes military goods, software and technologies that are designed or adapted specifically for military purposes, or that are inherently lethal, incapacitating or destructive.
  • Part 2: includes goods, software and technologies that may be used or adapted for use in a military program, or that may contribute to the development or production of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons systems. These are commonly referred to as dual-use goods or technologies.

The export, supply, or brokering of these items from Australia to a place outside Australia, or publication, may require a permit. Travelling to a country with controlled items may constitute a breach of export controls legislation.

Other goods, technology or software that are not controlled by the DSGL may be subject to catch-all export controls legislation if they are for a military end-use or may be for use in a weapons of mass destruction program.

3.1.1 Export controls requirements

While University activities may not be specifically related to weapons or defence, they may involve proliferation-sensitive items that require a permit for export, supply or publication from Australia to a place outside Australia. The following process applies:

  1. Individuals must determine whether the activity they are undertaking and the goods, software or technology they are using are controlled by the DSGL. This can be aided by the Department of Defence Online DSGL Tool, which consists of:
    1. DSGL Search to identify whether the goods, software or technology is controlled.
    2. Activity Questionnaire to identify whether the export, supply, publishing or brokering activity is controlled.
  2. If the activity and the good, software or technology are controlled, individuals need to contact the Research Ethics and Integrity office for advice on obtaining the appropriate permit for the export (exportcontrols@uq.edu.au). The Research Ethics and Integrity office will mediate all licence and permit applications.
  3. Permit and approval holders are required to monitor research according to the permit and approval conditions and report suspected non-compliance to Research Ethics and Integrity as soon as practicable (exportcontrols@uq.edu.au).
  4. Research Ethics and Integrity must be notified of each export or supply of items subject to a permit (exportcontrols@uq.edu.au).
  5. If individuals believe or suspect their goods, software, technology or services may be for a military end-use, or may be for use in a weapons of mass destruction program, they must seek guidance from Research Ethics and Integrity (exportcontrols@uq.edu.au).
  6. Individuals must record their research activities related to areas included in the DSGL on an annual basis in the Sensitive research register. Relevant changes in circumstances must be registered promptly.
  7. Individuals are responsible for familiarising themselves with the jurisdiction requirements relevant to the location of the activity and its collaborators, and if required, seek Research Ethics and Integrity advice prior to engaging in activities.

3.2 Sanctions

Sanctions are measures not involving the use of armed force that are imposed in situations of international concern. Sanctions impose restrictions on activities that relate to particular goods and services, persons, entities or countries. Collectively, the sanctions legislation related to a specific country or purpose is called a sanctions regime.

The sanctions regimes currently implemented under Australian sanctions laws are regulated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Under Australian sanctions legislation (refer section 7.2), the University is prohibited from dealing with specified individuals and entities or providing individuals, entities or countries with access to specific types of training, services and resources.

A sanctions regime may include targeted and country-wide sanctions:

  • Targeted sanctions that apply only to specific persons and entities are listed in the DFAT Consolidated List, which is updated regularly.
  • Country-wide sanctions can apply broadly to activities such as imports, exports, commercial activities and the provision of services (including technical advice, assistance or training). These activities may be restricted when they are related to import sanctioned goods or export sanctioned goods, which are specified by the sanctions regimes. They often include military activities, arms or related materiel (e.g., items on the DSGL) and items related to transport, telecommunications, energy, oil/gas, minerals and luxury items. 

Sanctions regimes may restrict how individuals can conduct research activities, including:

  • The assignment of staff or students with a connection to sanctioned countries to specific research topics;
  • The access of staff, students or visiting academics with a connection to sanctioned countries to research projects, equipment or restricted areas;
  • Research collaborations or consultancy activities with citizens/entities with a connection to sanctioned countries or in sanctioned countries.

3.2.1 Sanctions requirements

Appointment of staff, visiting researchers and visiting students  

Individuals should be mindful of potential sanctions restrictions on research activities when recruiting new staff and visiting researchers and students. Sanctions assessments for staff, visiting researchers and visiting students are completed using the Sanctions compliance assessment form for staff.

Any conditions imposed on a research activity as a result of a sanctions assessment must be adhered to. Changes to the individual’s research activities must be evaluated for compliance with the sanctions assessment and may necessitate completion of a new assessment.

Higher degree by research candidates

Supervisors should be mindful of potential sanctions restrictions on research activities when recruiting new students. Sanctions assessments will be conducted in accordance with the Graduate School processes.

Any conditions imposed on a research activity as a result of a sanctions assessment must be adhered to. Changes to the individual’s research activities must be evaluated for compliance with the sanctions assessment and may necessitate completion of a new assessment.

Collaborative research and consultancy activities

The highly specific nature of activities involving research collaborations and consultancy activities requires that responsibility for sanctions assessment reside with the UQ individual(s) engaging in the activity

  1. Individuals must check to ascertain whether the research activity engages with a person(s) or entity listed on the DFAT Consolidated List. If the research activity is found to engage directly with a designated person or entity, the engagement must be rejected.
  2. Individuals must conduct due diligence to determine whether the activity will engage indirectly with a person(s) or entity on the DFAT Consolidated List. If the research activity is found to engage indirectly with a designated person or entity, Research Ethics and Integrity must be contacted for assistance  (international.sanctions@uq.edu.au).   
  3. Individuals must check if the research activity engages, directly or indirectly, with a person(s) or entity from a country with a currently implemented sanctions regime. If the research activity engages with a person(s) or entity with a connection to a sanctioned country, the applicable Sanctions Compliance and Assessment form must be completed.  

Individuals are responsible for familiarising themselves with the jurisdiction requirements relevant to the location of the activity and its collaborators, and if required, seek Research Ethics and Integrity advice prior to engaging in activities. Advice as to whether a proposed engagement may contravene sanctions requirements can be sought from Research Ethics and Integrity (international.sanctions@uq.edu.au).

4.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities 

4.1 Research Ethics and Integrity

The Research Ethics and Integrity office is responsible for:

  • Assisting individuals with export controls enquiries, permit applications and approvals.
  • Sanctions enquiries and (where relevant) permit applications.
  • Reviewing sanctions assessments provided by Faculty Associate Deans (Research) and Institute Deputy Directors (Research) and providing a written recommendation and reasoning for that recommendation.
  • Provision of relevant training, advice and assistance to the University research community.
  • Oversight of the Sensitive Research Register for training and reporting requirements.
  • Maintaining records relating to export control permits and sanctions assessments and permits (where applicable).

4.2 Graduate School

The Graduate School conducts sanctions assessments for Higher Degree by Research candidates. It is recognised that the proposed Primary Supervisor possess the requisite knowledge and skill to understand the proposed area of research and, in conjunction with the Faculty Associate Dean (Research) or Institute Deputy Director (Research), are in a position to recommend whether the research may relate to an export sanctioned good and whether the project is specialised enough to be considered technical training.

4.3 Associate Dean (Research) and Institute Deputy Director (Research)

Faculty Associate Deans (Research) and Institute Deputy Directors (Research) review sanctions assessments provided by supervisors and provide a written recommendation and reasoning for that recommendation. Applications that are incomplete or where sufficient information has not been provided by the supervisor to support their recommendation will be returned for revision.

4.4 Heads of operational units

Heads of operational units promote and foster a research culture and environment that supports the responsible conduct of research, including compliance with relevant legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines. Heads of operational units will review information from the Sensitive Research Register for completeness and accuracy and refer any areas requiring attention (e.g., for targeted education and training) to Research Ethics and Integrity.

4.5 Individuals

Individuals (staff, students and affiliates are responsible for:

  • Their compliance with export control and sanctions requirements, including identifying whether their activities or intended transfers may require a permit or approval.
  • Ensuring all conditions specified on permits/approvals are followed.
  • Notifying Research Ethics and Integrity of all exports/supply associated with a permit.
  • Undertaking due diligence for any collaboration with an external entity.
  • For staff, recording their research activities related to areas included in the DSGL on an annual basis via the Sensitive research register. Relevant changes in circumstances must be registered promptly.

4.6 Supervisors

Supervisors of individuals (staff and students) subject to a sanctions assessment must maintain regular contact with the researcher and monitor the progress of the research project. Supervisors have a responsibility to monitor adherence to any conditions associated with the sanctions assessment and notify the Graduate School (for students) or Human Resources (for staff and visiting academics) of any material changes to the project that may require a new sanctions assessment.

5.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) is responsible for the development, compliance monitoring and review of this procedure.

The University's export control and sanctions processes will be reviewed annually to verify that procedures and record-keeping requirements continue to be met. Suspected breaches of this Procedure will be investigated and any system issues reviewed. Immediate corrective action will be taken, including notification to the appropriate authorities where necessary.

6.0 Recording and Reporting

Individuals that hold a staff or conjoint appointment, where UQ is the lead employer, must register their research activities that involve items on the DSGL in the Sensitive research register. Registrations are made annually or more frequently where circumstances change.  

Research Ethics and Integrity maintains a central register of assessments, permits, approvals and compliance with any conditions that may be required.

Records of all relevant documents relating to the export or supply of proliferation-sensitive items must be kept for five years from the date of export. Reporting conditions are often applied to export permits covering multiple shipments requiring the submission of regular reports detailing the exports, including nil returns, made under the permit. Records must be kept in accordance with the Information Management Policy and its related procedures.

7.0 Appendix

7.1 Definitions

Affiliate - academic title-holders, visiting academics, emeritus professors, adjunct and honorary title-holders, industry fellows, and conjoint appointments.

Brokering - occurs when an Australian arranges, as an agent or intermediary, the supply of controlled goods, software or technology between two locations outside of Australia and benefits from the supply in some manner.

Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) - the list that specifies the goods, software or technology that is controlled when exported, supplied, brokered or published. The DSGL includes munitions (or military) items and dual-use items.

Dual-use items - items that may be used for commercial purposes, but may be used in military systems or for weapon of mass destruction purposes.

Export - a tangible/physical transfer of DSGL goods, technology or software (controlled items) from Australia to a place outside Australia. For example, items exported by ship, aircraft, post or courier; carried in checked-in or hand-held luggage; or technology (blueprints, diagrams, notes) stored on a physical medium such as a CD, DVD, USB drive or computer hard drive.

Export sanctioned goods: goods designated by a legislative instrument for a country or part of a country that are prohibited to be exported to that country or part of that country.

Goods – movable property of any kind, including but not limited to, documents, vessels and aircraft.

Import sanctioned goods – goods designated by a legislative instrument for a country or part of a country that are prohibited to be imported from that country or part of that country.

Individuals – any University staff, student or affiliate who conducts, or assists with the conduct of, research at, or on behalf of the University,

Software - a collection of one or more programs or microprograms fixed in any tangible medium of expression. Programs are a sequence of instructions to carry out a process in, or convertible into, a form executable by an electronic computer. Microprograms are a sequence of elementary instructions maintained in a special storage, the execution of which is initiated by the introduction of its reference instruction register.

Staff – continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funded) and casual staff members.

Supply – an intangible/non-physical transfer of DSGL technology from Australia to a place outside Australia. For example, by email, fax, telephone, video conferencing, or providing access to electronic files.

Technology - specific information necessary for the development, production or use of a product. This information takes the form of technical data or technical assistance.

Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program - any plan for the development, production, acquisition or stockpiling of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons or missiles capable of delivering such weapons.

7.2 Legislative framework

Underpinning Australia’s system of export controls and sanctions is a legislative framework that includes:

  1. Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011,
  2. Charter of the United Nations Act 1945,
  3. Customs Act 1901,
  4. Defence Trade Controls Act 2012,
  5. Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention and Proliferation) 1995,

And other legislation as applicable.

Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Bronwyn Harch
Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Bronwyn Harch