I'm unsure of the status of this document, since the company involved ceased
to exist over a year ago, and it was given to me by their lawyers with no
indication that I shouldn't distribute it, I assume there's no problem in
publishing this. I've removed the names just in case
Casselle Commercial Services Pty Ltd
International Trade, Industry, Policy, and Customs Services
35 Clive Road, East Hawthorn,
Victoria 3123, Australia
FAX NO: [Deleted]
DATE: 29 April, 1996
NUMBER OF PAGES INCLUDING THIS PAGE: 3 (Three)
Further to our discussion last Friday, I have today made enquiries with the
relevant New Zealand Authorities in Wellington and wish to report the
At this point, I terminated my enquiries and indicated the need to secure
further discussions from my client.
The New Zealand Government observes similar export conventions to those of
Australia and the UK and it appears that its regulations (and restrictions) are
currently structured to reflect the special export requirements of those
countries. (It is assumed that as a recipient of "sensitive" technologies, New
Zealand is obliged to impose restrictions on their re-export). New Zealand is
also a signatory to the COCOM export control regime as well as numerous other
multilateral agreements involving arms control.
Accordingly, there is a control regime in place which monitors trade in
products commonly known as "Strategic Goods".
The types of "Strategic Goods" subject to restriction include, inter alia:
Discussions with the relevant Authorities revealed that computer software of
the type under consideration would fall within the above classes of goods.
- Computer technology
- Information security systems
- Telecommunications equipment
Export control is exercised pursuant to the provisions of the Customs Act 1996
and the Export Prohibition Regulations 1953. While the New Zealand Customs
Service administers the legislation, export approvals must be sought either
In the case of the clients software and for other "Strategic Goods" as defined,
applications will need to be made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
- Ministry of Defence; or
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (International Security and Arms
Because of the difficulty in identifying which exportable goods may have dual,
civilian/military applications (apart from the obvious), New Zealand Customs
have tended to apply restrictions based upon the countries of destination
(under the old COCOM rules). For example, export permits are demanded for
shipments consigned to:
In practice, any computer software which was cosigned to the USA for example,
would be unlikely to attract any Customs demand for an appropriate permit.
- certain former communist/Eastern Bloc countries;
- certain Middle-East and Central Asian countries; and
- those countries which are subject to United Nations sanctions
Upon referring this issue to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, I was
informed that there were imminent changes to the Regulations
 which will result in the Ministry taking a more active
role in scrutinizing the export process.
In the circumstances, I was invited to contact the International Security and
Arms Control Division for further discussion on whether a format (export
approval) application was required in this instance.
In summary, the New Zealand system of export control is similar to that
applying in Australia. Within the context of a due diligence requirement, an
application for permission to export appears to be unavoidable.
I await further instructions.
 The changes referred to are the name change from "COCOM" to "Wassenaar"
(the actual agreement remained the same, only the name changed) and the coming
into force of the 1996 Customs Act (which in these areas is identical to the
1966 Customs Act). Another change which occurred at the time was the shift of
responsibility from the GCSB to MFAT, so that instead of the GCSB telling you
you couldn't export something, MFAT told you you couldn't export it. This may
have been why MFAT later said that they'd never had an export request like this
before, until that time it had been the GCSB's job to say no to exports.