A Perth military antiques business has had thousands of dollars’ worth of replica Australian Defence Medals confiscated by Australian Border Force because they were imported bearing the Commonwealth Coat of Arms without a permit.
CAPTION: The front of a replica Australian Defence Medal – one of thousands confiscated when they were imported with a permit to use the Commonwealth Coat of Arms. ABF photo.
Two-and-a-half thousand Australian Defence Medals bearing the Coat of Arms were part of a larger consignment of replica military medals from Hong Kong intercepted by ABF customs compliance officers at a Perth air-cargo depot last month.
Importation of goods bearing the Commonwealth Coat of Arms without a permit is prohibited under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations.
Use of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms without permission may also breach the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the Trade Marks Act 1995 and the Criminal Code Act 1995.
ABF Assistant Secretary for Trusted Trader and Trade Services Tim Fitzgerald said that as the formal symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Coat of Arms signified Commonwealth authority and ownership.
“As such it is used by Australian government departments and agencies, statutory and non-statutory authorities, the parliament and commonwealth courts and tribunals,” Assistant Secretary Fitzgerald said.
“Unless a permit is obtained, the Commonwealth Coat of Arms is not to be used for commercial gain.”
Individuals wishing to use the Coat of Arms must apply through the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
More information about the Commonwealth Coat of Arms can be found here.
“Our customs compliance operations officers work diligently to ensure importers comply with reporting and revenue-collection requirements, and that permits, where required, are obtained before importation,” Assistant Secretary Fitzgerald said.
As Australia’s customs service, ABF has made trade enforcement one of its key operational priorities.