CUS402 International Customs Law (16)

This subject introduces students to the relationship between the domestic responsibilities of customs services and the international law obligations to which they give effect. The jurisdiction of customs authorities is examined and the international organisations and conventions that impact on customs activities, in particular the impact of the conventions of the World Customs Organization, are assessed.


Session 1 (30)
Canberra Campus
Session 2 (60)
Canberra Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: CUS402. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Customs and Excise Studies

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students in the Master of Customs Administration, Graduate Diploma of Customs Administration or the Graduate Certificate in Customs Administration who have completed or are undertaking CUS403 - European Customs Law.

CUS402 and CUS403 are incompatible subjects.

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify and critically assess the sources of international customs law including key international instruments affecting Customs operations
  • be able to apply the principles of international customs law to situations that they may face as customs officials
  • be able to analyse critically issues that may arise in the customs environment in the context of international legal requirements
  • be able to make advanced level, independent judgements concerning the administration of customs procedures in conformity with the rules of international law
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to contribute to policy-making processes which impact on customs practice and procedure with appropriate reference to relevant international conventions
  • be able to identify and evaluate critically customs law issues and their implications for regulatory practice.
  • be able to formulate appropriate and well-developed approaches to policy, practice and procedure in accordance with international legal requirements and obligations and be able to communicate those approaches to others.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to International Customs Law: International Customs Law and the Contemporary International Environment , Treaties as sources of International Customs Law, Other sources of International Customs Law
  • Customs Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction in the Air and at Sea, Jurisdiction Extraterritoriality and Immunity
  • Key WCO Instruments: The CCC Convention and the HS Convention, The Revised Kyoto Convention and the SAFE Framework
  • WTO Agreements: The key principles of GATT and other WTO Agreements
  • Offences, Sanctions and Appeals: Illicit Drugs, Other international customs offences, International guidance on penalties and legal process

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of CUS402 in Session 2 2021. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
On-line participation
Application of the law to a fact situation
Brief: advice on amending the revised kyoto conven
Diagnostic study: compliance with legal obligation

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2022. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.