We regularly partner with universities, governments and private industry outside of Australia to meet our research objectives. In doing so, we comply with the Defence Trade Controls Act (2012) to ensure we protect Australia's national interests without limiting our research.
This page outlines ACU's requirements with respect to defence trade controls, as well as the support and resources available to our staff and students.
The Australian Government has legislated strengthened export controls through the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (DTCA). The Department of Defence has put in place Australia’s system of controls (Defence Export Controls; DEC) that ensure the export of defence and strategic goods and technologies (including ICT) is consistent with Australia’s national interests and international obligations.
Controlled goods and technologies include:
See the DEC Awareness Training Modules for an understanding of Australian export controls legislation, regulations and compliance.
ACU is committed to complying with the legislation and export control systems while still enabling research, collaboration and dissemination of information. Compliance with this legislation is an essential component of the regulatory landscape governing research.
It is important to understand that the laws and regulations are not there to stifle or limit what we do. They exist to protect Australian and overseas interests by capturing any activity that involves prohibited exports (listed on the Defence and Strategic Goods List DSGL) and issuing permits where necessary.
Even if your research does involve controlled goods, technologies and activities, communicating this information to DEC and being issued with a permit will enable you to continue your work.
The Research Ethics and Integrity team, within the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (ODVCR) is responsible for ensuring the University’s compliance with The Act and that ACU is registered as a client with the Department of Defence.
In addition to communicating this information to all our research staff and students we:
If your research involves, or if you believe it may involve, goods and technologies included in the DSGL, it is vital that you confirm this by contacting Research Ethics and Integrity for advice. We will assist you in performing an online self-assessment (using the DSGL Tool) and reporting any use, development or production of controlled technology, or seeking further advice from DEC.
Remember, dual-use goods and technologies, including those that are intangible, are the most likely candidates at ACU to be classified as controlled – they are also the least obvious! There are scenarios in the Awareness Training Modules (see below) that will help you understand the practical nature and application of the export controls:
These scenarios will provide examples on how the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 impacts*:
*Reading these scenarios does not constitute a self-assessment
Conducting controlled activities that involve items on the DSGL without a permit (unless exempted) may result in harsh penalties and, depending on the circumstances, could include imprisonment.
Research Ethics and Integrity Manager
T: +61 2 9739 2519
Relevant legislation and guidelines
Complying with the legislation
Guidelines and Training
Our researchers report their publications as part of the Higher Education Research Data Collection or the University Only research collection.Read more
Contact our team to find out more about our policies, procedures, and work in the areas of research ethics, integrity, and compliance.Talk to us
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Our research policies outline the processes and procedures our researchers comply with to ensure we act ethically and with integrity in our activities.Browse policies