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Australia: High Powered Laser Ban Now In Force

Minister For Home Affairs

High Powered Laser Ban Begins 1 July

The Minister for Home Affairs, Bob Debus, said from tomorrow (1 July) it will be illegal to import high intensity hand-held laser pointers into Australia without a permit.

"The Rudd Government has responded quickly to community concerns about the irresponsible use of pointers, particularly against commercial aircraft.

"These new Australian Customs regulations will prohibit the import of hand-held laser pointers with an emission level greater than one milliwatt (1mW), without written permission.

"Anyone thinking of importing one of these devices will also need to ensure they comply with state and territory laws regarding possession and sale.

"I would say to anyone trying to flout these new laws that because Customs screens incoming mail, cargo and passengers, the odds of being caught are extremely high."

Mr Debus said Customs was able to identify and test the emissions outputs of laser pointers.

"Customs will seize prohibited lasers and will investigate and prosecute where appropriate."

The maximum penalty for importing the devices without approval is a fine of $110,000 or three times the value of the goods, whichever is greater.

"These new laws will balance the risk posed to aircraft and the travelling public, with the legitimate import and use of laser equipment by responsible parties such as scientists, astronomers and the surveying industry," Mr Debus said.

ENDS

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