ACU Research



Australian Catholic University is committed to complying with all Federal and State Legislation and Guidelines including those that relate specifically to research including the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. ACU Research Policies are key to this compliance to ensure research is conducted with the highest standards of research ethics and integrity and with respect to human research participants, animals and the environment.

This section of the website provides important information on areas of compliance that apply to research conducted at ACU.

Export Controls

Export Controls:  Keeping your research in the right hands.

What are export controls?

How does this affect ACU and my research?

What does ACU need to do to be compliant?

What do I need to do as an employee/student at ACU?

What are the consequences if I need a permit and don’t get one?

Help, advice and contact information.

ODVCR contact for DTCA compliance.

Information and resources.


What are export controls?

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:

  • Military items designed or adapted expressly for military purposes or those that are inherently lethal, incapacitating or destructive; and
  • Dual use commercial items and technologies that may be used or adapted for use in a military program or contribute to the development and production of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons systems.

The restrictions apply not only to physical (tangible) goods and technology, but also the supply, publication or brokering of controlled technology by electronic or other non-physical (intangible) means.

See the DEC Awareness Training Modules for an understanding of Australian export controls legislation, regulations and compliance.


How do they affect ACU and my research?

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.


What does ACU need to do to be compliant?

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, the ODVCR will:

  • Maintain a compliance framework and export controls record-keeping system;
  • Conduct an audit of research undertaken at ACU to ensure compliance with The Act;
  • Facilitate applications for permits, where required, through the DEC;
  • Promote online self-assessment; and,
  • Provide additional information, training opportunities and updates to researchers through this website.


What do I need to do as an employee/student at ACU?

Although your research may not appear to involve goods and technologies included in the DSGL or to be a controlled activity, it is vital that you confirm this by performing an online self-assessment (using the DSGL Tool) and report any use, development or production of controlled technology to the ODVCR.

The Online DSGL Tool will help you identify if your activity is controlled and whether your goods, software or technology are also controlled. You will need to apply for a permit if both these conditions relate to your research (unless there is a relevant exemption).

It is highly recommended that before you commence the self-assessment, you read through the Awareness Training Modules

If after conducting the self-assessment you are still unsure whether you require a permit you will need to submit an application to the Office of Defence Export Controls for assessment.

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


What are the consequences if I need a permit and don’t get one?

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.


Help, advice and contact information

ODVCR contact for DTCA compliance:

Research Ethics and Integrity Manager

Sebastian Gimenez

T: +61 2 9739 2519


Information and resources

Relevant legislation and guidelines

Defence Trade Controls Act 2012

Guidance on new export control requirements from the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012

Complying with the legislation

Defence Export Controls website (DEC; Department of Defence)

Understand Strengthened Export Controls

Understand the legislation and assessment process

Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL)

DSGL General Information

Resources and Forms

Online DSGL Tool

All Application Forms

Application for DSGL Assessment

Apply to Export Controlled Goods and Technologies

Guidelines and Training

Guidance on Australian Export Controls and ICT

Frequently Asked Questions

DEC Awareness Training: Modules and Scenarios to help you understand the legislation compliance and how it relates to what you do.