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Possessing a Commercial Quantity of Unlawfully Imported Border Controlled Drug or Plant

Possessing a Commercial Quantity of Unlawfully Imported Border Controlled Drug or Plant is an offence under Section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You possessed a substance
  2. The substance was unlawfully imported
  3. The substance was a border controlled drug or plant
  4. You knew, or were reckless as to whether, the substance was a border controlled drug or plant, and
  5. The amount possessed was the commercial quantity

You were ‘reckless’ if you were aware it was likely that the substance was a border controlled drug or plant but went ahead with your actions regardless.

You are not guilty of the offence if you are able to establish, ‘on the balance of probabilities’, that you did not know the substance was unlawfully imported.

Examples of ‘commercial quantity’ include:

  • At least 500 grams of MDMA (or ‘ecstasy’)
  • At least 750 grams of amphetamines
  • At least 1.5 kgs of heroin
  • At least 2 kgs of cocaine, or
  • At least 100 kgs of cannabis leaf

A defence to the charge is ‘duress’, which means:

  1. Your actions were due to a threat of death or serious injury to you and/or a member of your family
  2. There was no reasonable way to render the threat ineffective, and
  3. Your conduct was a reasonable response to the threat

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