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

Facsimile Transmission

TO: [Deleted]
FAX NO: [Deleted]
SENDER: [Deleted]
DATE: 29 April, 1996


Further to our discussion last Friday, I have today made enquiries with the relevant New Zealand Authorities in Wellington and wish to report the following:

  1. 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".

  2. 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.

  3. 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 from the:

    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 Trade.

  4. 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.

    Upon referring this issue to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, I was informed that there were imminent changes to the Regulations [1] 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.

At this point, I terminated my enquiries and indicated the need to secure further discussions from my client.

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.



[1] 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.