DRUG IMPORTATION & EXPORTATION

There are a range of offences relating to the importation of prohibited drugs and the importation or exportation of border-controlled substances. These are federal offences that can attract lengthy terms of imprisonment.

Elements of the offence

In order to prove the offence of exporting or importing a border-controlled plant or drug, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused imported or exported a substance and that the substance was a border-controlled plant or drug.

Penalties

In Australia, it is an offence to import or export border-controlled plants and drugs. This offence carries a maximum penalty of $825,000 and/or life imprisonment.

Schedule 4 of the Criminal Code Regulation 2022 (Cth) sets out the commercial and marketable quantities for each border-controlled drug and plant.

The quantity of the border controlled drug or plant imported will affect the seriousness of the charge and the penalty imposed.

Regulation 307.2 provides for an aggravated offence of importing or exporting a marketable quantity of a drug or plant. An offence under this section carries a maximum penalty of $550,000 and/or 25 years imprisonment.

Regulation 307.1 provides for the aggravated offence of importing or exporting a commercial quantity of a drug or plant. An offence under this section carries a maximum penalty of $825,000 and/or life imprisonment.

Under Commonwealth law, all of the above offences are strictly indictable meaning they must be dealt with by the District or Supreme Court.

Defences

The legislation provides a defence to the offences under Regulations 307.2 and 307.3 where the accused did not intend or believe that another person intended to sell the drug or plant. If the accused wishes to rely on this defence the burden is on them to establish that they did not intend or believe another person intended to sell the drug or plant in question.

If you have been charged with a drug importation offence, call Karnib & Co Lawyers at any time on 0450503696 or email us on [email protected] to arrange a free consultation. For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skype, Zoom and FaceTime anywhere around the world.