Arms or related matériel

Several sanctions regimes include ‘arms or related matériel’ in the definition of ‘export sanctioned goods’.  The information on this page will assist you to interpret that term.

While ‘arms or related matériel’ is the usual term, some sanctions regimes instead include ‘arms or related lethal matériel’ or ‘weapons or military equipment’ in the definition of ‘export sanctioned goods’.  The information on this page is also relevant to interpreting those related terms.

For a UNSC sanctions regime, ‘arms or related matériel’ is defined in the regulations made under the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 for that regime.

For an Australian autonomous sanctions regime, regulation 3 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011defines ‘arms or related matériel’ as including any of the following:

  • weapons;
  • ammunition;
  • military vehicles and equipment;
  • spare parts and accessories for the things mentioned above; and
  • paramilitary equipment.

For a UNSC sanctions regime or an Australian autonomous sanctions regime, the definition of ‘arms or related matériel’ in Australian sanction laws is not exhaustive.  This means that not all goods that are ‘arms or related matériel’ are listed in the definition.

To assess whether a good not listed in the definition is ‘arms or related matériel’, DFAT considers, first, the nature of the good; second, the proposed or actual end use of the good; and, third, in cases of doubt the end user of the good.

More specifically, DFAT asks the following three questions:

  • Does the good have intrinsic military utility?  If the answer is ‘yes’, the good is ‘arms or related matériel’.  The answer is generally ‘yes’ for, among others, any good mentioned in the Defence and Strategic Goods List.  If the answer is ‘no’ or 'maybe', go to the next question.
  • Does the proposed or actual end use of the good have intrinsic military utility?  If the answer is ‘yes’, the good is ‘arms or related matériel’.  If the answer is ‘no’, the good is not ‘arms or related matériel’.  If the answer is ‘maybe’, go to the next question.
  • Does the end user of the good indicate that the proposed or actual end use of the good would have intrinsic military utility?  If the answer is ‘yes’, the good is ‘arms or related matériel’.  If the answer is ‘no’, the good is not ‘arms or related matériel’.  If the answer is ‘maybe’, DFAT will assess whether the good is ‘arms or related matériel’ depending on all the circumstances.


Last Updated: 24 September 2014