Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General, the Honourable Philip Ruddock, MP)
FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT
There are no financial implications arising from the offence provisions in this Bill.
However, there are expected to be some financial implications arising from some non-offence provisions of the Bill. The extent of the financial implications is difficult to quantify.
The Bill adopts Article 4.2 of the Convention and provides that existing stocks of plastic explosives not held by military or police authorities, are destroyed, consumed for purposes consistent with the Convention, marked or rendered permanently ineffective, within three years from the date of the Convention's entry into force.
The Bill also adopts Article 4.3 of the Convention and provides that existing stocks of plastic explosives held by military and police authorities that are not incorporated as an integral part of a duly authorised military device, are destroyed, consumed for purposes consistent with the Convention, marked or rendered permanently ineffective, within fifteen years from the date of the Convention's entry into force.
A principle feature of the Bill, which requires the marking of plastic explosives with a prescribed marker or detection agent, is expected to impact upon the costs of production of plastic explosives. The Convention requires that 1.0% of the most commonly used marker, DMNB, be incorporated into a plastic explosive.
The main impact of these costs will be borne by ADI Limited, the main producer and supplier in Australia of plastic explosives, and by the Department of Defence.
Costs will also be incurred in compliance with the Convention and in particular in monitoring and regulation of stocks of plastic explosives. It is expected that the responsibilities for these costs will be borne individually by each organisation with stocks of plastic explosives.
Costs are likely to be incurred by manufacturers and entities who store plastic explosives, in complying with the provisions requiring specific packaging and labelling of marked plastic explosives.
To assist both government and non-government sectors in complying with the terms of the Convention, the Bill adopts the terms of the Convention which provide for the use of existing stocks of unmarked plastic explosives for a certain period. These provisions will assist both sectors in minimising costs associated with compliance with the terms of the Convention.
Schedule 2 of the Bill provides generally for the Australian Customs Service to have appropriate powers to regulate, investigate, search and seize in relation to unmarked plastic explosives. These powers are similar in scope to those contained in the Law and Justice Legislation Amendment (Serious Drug and Other Measures) Act 2005.
The financial implications to the Australian Customs Service associated with these powers are not expected to be significant.
It is possible that the Australian Customs Service will also incur costs associated with the regulation of the import and export of marked plastic explosives, once plastic explosives are included as prohibited imports and prohibited export under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958.
Section 72.17 of the Bill creates an offence for a person to manufacture a plastic explosive and not package and legibly display details, including the date of manufacture, on the package. Costs associated with the requirement to package and display the date of manufacture are not expected to be significant.