Overview - Australia's sanctions regime

Sanctions are measures imposed in situations of international concern, including the repression of human rights, the proliferation of weaponry or existing armed conflict. Sanctions do not involve the use of armed force but impose restrictions on:

  • activities that relate to particular countries
  • goods and services
  • persons and entities

Australian Sanction laws are implemented pursuant to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the Australian Autonomous Sanctions regimes. This is further explained in the table below.

Sanctions may be relevant to:

  • graduate research applicants and the supervision of research students in areas of study that risk breaching sanctions;
  • visiting academics  - by making assets available;
  • research collaborations with citizens/entities from sanctioned countries in prohibited areas; and/or
  • the provision of technical advice, assistance or training in sanctioned goods or technologies.

Legislative overview

La Trobe University is committed to complying with Australian Sanctions laws which are implemented under the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions regimes (Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (CotUNA) and the Australian Autonomous Sanctions regimes through the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011.

Who administers Australia’s sanctions regime?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) administers Australia’s sanctions regime and maintains a Consolidated List of individuals or entities known as 'designated individuals or entities' subject to targeted financial sanctions or travel bans under Australian sanctions law.

What does this mean to La Trobe University, it's international students, visiting academics and partners?

Sanctions legislation prohibits La Trobe from engaging in certain activities, and places restrictions on our ability to interact with persons and organisations associated with sanctions countries or those appearing on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT’s) Consolidated List.

The enrolment of international students in graduate research programs, access and research by visiting academics, including collaborations and consultancy arrangements with overseas persons or entities may therefore give rise to potential contravention of sanctions law.

This may therefore affect the University's interactions with recruitment agents and applicants from sanctioned countries, particularly in relation to applications for Research Higher Degree programs and international research partnerships generally.

Sanction laws are subject to change from time to time and may prohibit La Trobe from accepting enrolments from students associated with certain sanctioned entities or regimes or, in some circumstances, from students who wish to undertake Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) in particular fields.

La Trobe is required to abide by the sanctions as they apply to countries where there is prohibition on providing a ‘sanctioned good/service’. La Trobe will therefore be unable to provide confirmation of enrolment until satisfied that the training/assistance offered would not constitute a sanctioned service. In essence, prior to offering a postgraduate research place or commencing any research or academic collaboration with a sanctioned country, La Trobe must consider:

  • Whether the service (technical assistance, training or advice) is related to the manufacture or use of export sanctioned goods (including dual use goods)
  • Whether the service would increase that country’s capacity to manufacture or use those export sanctioned goods
  • Whether the service would be provided to someone with a sufficient connection to the sanctioned country.

It is an offence to breach these restrictions.

See 'Offence Provisions' for more information.

Sanctioned countries and export sanctioned goods

Sanctioned countries:

  • Central African Republic
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Russia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe
  • Crimea and Sevastopol
  • Iran
  • Syria
  • North Korea

Export sanctioned goods

  • Military activities
  • Arms or related material
  • Weapons
  • Ammunition
  • Military vehicles or equipment
  • Spare parts or accessories for the arms and related material
  • Paramilitary equipment
  • Goods listed on the Defence Strategic Goods List

Source: DFAT. As at 05 October,  2016.

Complying with sanction laws

La Trobe will take reasonable precautions and exercise due diligence to avoid contravening the UNSC and Autonomous Sanctions.

To aid compliance with the Australian Sanction Regime the La Trobe Autonomous Sanctions Compliance Policy and Procedures have been developed which set clear expectations for staff and students, assist in implementing and enforcing La Trobe’s sanctions controls.

These policies and procedures articulate the escalation path way for advice and or reporting of any suspicious activities, with education and awareness training provided on an annual basis.

Offence provisions

There are civil and criminal penalties for contravening sanctions laws, including:

  • For individuals: a maximum 10 years' imprisonment or a maximum fine the greater of $450,000 or 3 times the value of the transaction in breach of sanctions (whichever is the greater); or
  • For bodies corporate: a fine the greater of $1.8 million or three times the value of the transaction (whichever is the greater).

La Trobe takes actual and potential contraventions of sanctions seriously and may take disciplinary action against any individual found to have failed to abide by sanctions policies and procedures.

Reporting suspected breaches – We all play a role

Any staff, students, visiting academics and researchers or members of the public are encouraged to notify La Trobe International if they believe or suspect a staff member or student may be in breach of sanctions legislation by sending an email to the attention of the Regulatory Compliance Officer via compliance@latrobe.edu.au.

For more information please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs sanctions webpage.