WELLINGTON, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- New laws that make it harder for arms and military equipment to fall into the wrong hands in New Zealand came into effect on Friday.
"As well as tightening up where arms and military equipment end up, we also want to avoid having illicit brokers shift their activities to New Zealand," Deputy Prime Minister and Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Winston Peters said in a statement.
The Brokering (Weapons and Related Items) Controls Act 2018, which comes into partial force on Friday, introduces comprehensive controls that regulate the brokering of arms and military equipment by New Zealanders and New Zealand-based entities.
"Too many communities in our region and around the world have felt the devastating impacts of weapons, in terms of lives lost, crime and conflict, and the crippling effect on development and prosperity," Peters said.
Brokering involves the transfer of arms from one foreign country to another. This new brokering regime complements controls for the import, export or internal movement of these items already in place under existing legislation, he said.
Any New Zealander or New Zealand entity, including those operating offshore, wishing to engage in brokering activity will need to be registered as a broker with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade and have a permit for each brokering activity by June 1, Peters said, adding registration of brokers and applications for permits for brokering activity will begin from Friday.
Failure to comply with the new laws includes penalties of a term of imprisonment of up to five years and/or a fine, according to the new laws.