Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Importing and Exporting Drugs or Precursors

Importing and Exporting Drugs or Precursors

Drug importation offences play a major significant role in the CDPP’s overall practice and attract some of the highest penalties imposed by courts.

Serious drug offences, particularly importations, are rarely committed by one person on their own. In most cases importations involve multiple players participating in the venture at different levels and in different ways. Consequently, the CDPP often has to rely upon extension of criminal liability provisions involving conspiracy, joint commission or accessorial liability in order to prosecute all those involved in an importation.

Commonly Used Offences

  • s.307.1(1) Criminal Code – importing commercial quantities of border controlled drugs or plants
  • s.307.11(1) Criminal Code – importing commercial quantities of border controlled precursors

Penalties

The maximum penalties for importing/exporting border controlled drug offences are as follows:

  • s.307.1 Criminal Code – importing/exporting commercial quantity of border controlled drugs/plants – life imprisonment;
  • s.307.2 Criminal Code – importing/exporting marketable quantity of border controlled drugs/plants – 25 years imprisonment;
  • s.307.3 Criminal Code – importing/exporting border controlled drugs – 10 years imprisonment.

The maximum penalties for importing/exporting border controlled precursors are as follows:

  • s.307.11 Criminal Code – importing/exporting commercial quantity of border controlled precursors – 25 years imprisonment;
  • s.307.12 Criminal Code – importing/exporting marketable quantity of border controlled precursors – 15 years imprisonment;
  • s.307.13 Criminal Code – importing/exporting border controlled precursors – 7 years imprisonment.

Sentencing

The CDPP provides sentencing data to the Commonwealth Sentencing Database (CSD). Permission to access the CSD can be obtained at http://njca.com.au/sentencing/

Relevant Legislation

Criminal Code

Criminal Code Regulations

Director’s Litigation Instructions

DLI 5 – PDF icon Charging Importation Cases involving Substitution of Drugs or Precursors

DLI 8 – Charging Guideline for Domestic Drug Offences under Part 9.1 of the Criminal Code

Law Reform

On 29 May 2013 the Criminal Code Amendment Regulation 2013 (No. 1) commenced. This amendment significantly expanded the schedules of controlled and border controlled drugs and moved the schedules from the Criminal Code to the Criminal Code Regulations. This allows for illicit substances to be listed more quickly and improves the Commonwealth’s ability to be responsive as illicit markets evolve.

Significant Cases

  • Campbell v R (2008) 73 NSWLR 272
  • R v Tranter [2013] SASCFC 61

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