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Australian Legislative information regarding 'child-like' sex dolls

(N.B.The below information was updated on July 15th, 2020).

Australian legislation regarding what sex dolls are ok and what is considered illegal to import into Australia is often misunderstood and people can easily be misled by visiting the wrong websites for information.

The sex doll industry in Australia is booming, however the growing number of Australian doll sites is seeing a growth in the amount of information, and 'misinformation' available to consumers. While some of this may be factual, much of it simply isn't.

Pleasure Dolls Australia has its 'finger on the pulse' of current industry legislation, and this page is designed to offer you, our Customers, the most up-to-date information available so you can feel comfortable making your purchase. Let's dive in! 

 

SPECIAL NOTE BEFORE READING ANY FURTHER:

Currently there is NO specific legislative information to be found anywhere in relation to Doll heights or breast cup sizes.

Any website claiming there are 'enforceable' limits regarding Doll heights and/or Doll breast cup sizes is relying on hearsay and should offer evidence of such claims.

We have received written advice from the Australian Border Force dated November 18, 2019, along with follow-up advice dated June 9, 2020, stating:

"It is correct to say that the doll must look like an adult and not represent a child under the age of 18. The legislation - Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 Reg4A. Currently, there are no set guidelines on minimum heights and the complete doll is taken into consideration."

 

The Heavy Stuff:


The information contained below comes directly from Parliamentary documents and Government websites, and may not be suitable for some people to read and understand. If you would prefer to read a Summary of what is written below, click HERE to jump down to the 'In Summary' section.

Please note the information contained on this page is not meant as, and should not be considered legal advice in any way, and any questions arising from this information should be forwarded to the relevant Australian Government department/s responsible for administering the law in relation to these matters.

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1) Australian Federal Legislation

Current enforceable Federal Legislation regarding sex dolls can be found at various places, such as:

1A) Australian Border Force:

Specific information regarding Legislation that can be enforced by the Australian Border Force can be found here:

https://www.abf.gov.au/importing-exporting-and-manufacturing/prohibited-goods/categories/miscellaneous

The following paragraphs refer to 'objectionable goods', particularly imports and exports of material which depict children under the age of 18: 

The importation of objectionable goods is prohibited under regulation 4A of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956.

Objectionable goods include material that describes, depicts, expresses or otherwise deals with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in a way that would offend a reasonable adult. It also includes goods that depict children under 18 years of age in a way that would offend a reasonable adult, promote crime or violence, promote drug misuse, or advocate the doing of a terrorist act.”

The determination of whether goods are objectionable will take into account the overall context of the presentation of the goods in addition to certain specific characteristics. In relation to dolls manufactured for a sexual purpose, if the doll appears to be a depiction of a child under 18 years of age, the doll is considered to be objectionable and prohibited under regulations 3 and 4A. Any accessories and instructional or descriptive material (including the marketing of the product) accompanying the doll will be taken into consideration when the age depiction of the doll is determined.”

In strictly limited circumstances, the Director of the Classification Board may grant permission to import or export (import or export permit) objectionable goods. Personal use or entertainment is generally not sufficient grounds for granting a permit.”

Penalties may apply to the importation and exportation of objectionable goods. Where the goods are considered to be commercial importations or exportations of child pornography or child abuse material, more serious penalties apply including significant fines and/or imprisonment.”

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1B) Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation Legislation Amendment Act 2019 

The Australian Government website www.legislation.gov.au highlights downloadable legislation, including Amendment Bills and Acts of Parliament. The following Amendment Act pertains to 'child-like dolls':

Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (C2019B00020)

This Amendment Act was introduced into Parliament on 24 JULY 2019, it then passed through the Senate on September 17 2019. On September 20 2019 it was enacted after being signed off by the Governor General. Details can be found here:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r6376

A .pdf version of this Amendment Act can be downloaded directly from the following Legal Aid NSW website url here: 

https://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/32182/Legal-Aid-NSW-submission-to-Inquiry-on-the-Combatting-Child-Sexual-Exploitation-Bill.pdf

The following Acts of Parliament are amended under this Amendment Act (those highlighted in BOLD pertain to 'possession of child-like sex dolls'): 

- Crimes Act 1914

- Criminal Code Act 1995

- Customs Act 1901

- Surveillance Devices Act 2004

- Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979

 

Schedule 2 of this Amendment Act discusses the "Possession of Child-like sex dolls etc...", particularly in “Division 273A” of the “Criminal Code 1995, as follows:

"Division 273APossession of child-like sex dolls etc.

273A.1 Possession of child-like sex dolls etc.

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person possesses a doll or other object; and

(b) the doll or other object resembles:

(i) a person who is, or appears to be, under 18 years of age; or

(ii) a part of the body of such a person; and

(c) a reasonable person would consider it likely that the doll or other object is intended to be used by a person to simulate sexual intercourse.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 15 years."

 

Similarly, “Section 473.1” of the “Criminal Code 1995” suggests the following amendment:

"Section 473.1 of the Criminal Code (at the end of the definition of 'child pornography material')

Add:

; or (e) material that is a doll or other object that resembles:

(i) a person who is, or appears to be, under 18 years of age; or

(ii) a part of the body of such a person;

if a reasonable person would consider it likely that the material is intended to be used by a person to simulate sexual intercourse."

 

Similarly, the same wording above is being considered to amend the "end of the definition of child abuse material" in “Section 473.1” of the “Criminal Code 1995”, as follows: 

"Section 473.1 of the Criminal Code (at the end of the definition of 'child abuse material')

Add:

; or (g) material that is a doll or other object that resembles:

(i) a person who is, or appears to be, under 18 years of age; or

(ii) a part of the body of such a person;

if a reasonable person would consider it likely that the material is intended to be used by a person to simulate sexual intercourse."

 

Similarly, the addition of “subsection 233BAB(3)” of the “Customs Act 1901” seeks to add the following wording:

"Customs Act 1901

At the end of 'subsection 233BAB(3)'

Add:

; or (e) that is a doll or other object that resembles:

(i) a person who is, or appears to be, under 18 years of age; or

(ii) a part of the body of such a person; if a reasonable person would consider it likely that the doll or other object intended to be used by a person to simulate sexual intercourse (within the meaning of the Criminal Code)."

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2) State Government Legislation

The South Australian State Parliament has had the following 'private member's Bill' introduced which amends the “Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935”.

This Amendment Bill has now passed through both Houses of the State Parliament and will come into effect 3 months after the day it is assented to by the Governor.

This private Member's Bill is cited as follows:

Criminal Law Consolidation (Child-Like Sex Dolls Prohibition) Amendment Bill 2019.”

 

Section 62 (Interpretation) of this Amendment Bill contains wording that is very close in nature to the fore-mentioned Federal “Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation Legislation Amendment Bill 2019”, as follows:

"(B) consists of, or contains, the image or representation of (or what appears to be the image or representation of) a child under, or apparently under, the age of 17 years, or the bodily parts of such a child, or in the production of which such a child has been or appears to have been involved; and

(ii) that is of a pornographic nature; or

(b) that is a child-like sex doll;

child-like sex doll means a doll or other object that—

(a) resembles—

(i) a person who is, or appears to be, under 17 years of age; or

(ii) a part of the body of such a person; and

(b) a reasonable person would consider it likely that the doll or other object is intended to be used by a person to simulate sexual intercourse;"

 

Amendment (Inclusion) of Section 63AA to this Amendment Bill proposes changes that directly affect those who 'produce' and/or 'disseminate' a 'child-like sex doll', as follows:

"63AA—Production or dissemination of child-like sex dolls

A person who—

(a) produces, or takes any step in the production of, a child-like sex doll; or

(b) disseminates, or takes any step in the dissemination of, a child-like sex doll,

is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years."

 

Amendment (Inclusion) of Section 63AB to this Amendment Bill proposes changes that directly affect those who are in 'possession' of 'child-like sex dolls', as follows:

"63AB—Possession of child-like sex dolls

A person who is in possession of a child-like sex doll is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years."

 

The Queensland State Parliament is seeking amendments to the “Criminal Code (Child Sexual Offences Reform) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019”.

This Amendment Bill was introduced into Parliament on November 27 2019. 

Division 2, Section 1 of this Amendment Bill seeks to insert the term "child abuse object" and then this term is set to be defined as follows:

"11 Amendment of s 207A (Definitions for this chapter)

Section 207A

insert—
child abuse object means a doll, robot or other object if—

(a) a reasonable adult would consider-
(i) the doll, robot or other object is a representation or portrayal of a person, or part of a person, who is a child under 16 years; or
(ii) the predominant impression conveyed by the doll, robot or other object is that it is a representation or portrayal of a person, or part of a person, who is a child under 16 years, irrespective of whether it has adult characteristics; and
(b) the doll, robot or other object has been used, or a reasonable adult would consider it is intended for use, in an indecent or sexual context including, for example, engaging in a sexual activity."

 

In addition to the above, the following amendments are being sought in relation to the supply and/or possession of a "child abuse object":

 

228I Producing or supplying child abuse object

(1)A person who produces or supplies a child abuse object commits a crime.

Maximum penalty—

(a)if the production or supply is for a commercial purpose—20 years imprisonment; or
(b)otherwise—14 years imprisonment.

(2)The Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, section 161Q also states a circumstance of aggravation for an offence against this section.

(3)An indictment charging an offence against this section with the circumstance of aggravation stated in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, section 161Q may not be presented without the consent of a Crown Law Officer.
(4)In this section—
produce includes—
(a)prepare, manufacture or package; and
(b)offer to produce; and
(c)do or offer to do any act in preparation for or furtherance of, or for the purpose of, an act of producing.
supply includes—
(a)give, distribute, sell or transport; and
(b)offer to supply; and
(c)do or offer to do any act in preparation for or furtherance of, or for the purpose of, an act of supply.

 

228J Possessing child abuse object

(1)A person who knowingly possesses a child abuse object commits a crime.

Maximum penalty—14 years imprisonment.

(2)The Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, section 161Q states a circumstance of aggravation for an offence against this section.

(3)An indictment charging an offence against this section with the circumstance of aggravation stated in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, section 161Q may not be presented without the consent of a Crown Law Officer.

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IN SUMMARY:

 

If you've made it THIS far, well done, that was very heavy going!

Let's break it down though.

 

1) Current Legislation that is enforceable

Currently, the only 'legislation' that can be enforced comes from "Regulation 4A of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956" and uses the phrase 'objectionable goods' when referring to 'dolls'.

Here is an extract from this regulation regarding dolls:

"In relation to dolls manufactured for a sexual purpose, if the doll appears to be a depiction of a child under 18 years of age, the doll is considered to be objectionable and prohibited under regulation...4A."

Here is an extract from Regulation 4A regarding penalties:

"Penalties may apply to the importation and exportation of objectionable goods."

The penalties referred to are a fine up to $450,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

 

2) Current Legislation being considered 

In terms of Legislation that is currently being considered, there is an Amendment Bill that has recently passed through Federal Parliament and also a private member's Bill introduced by the Hon. Connie Barlos MLC in the State Parliament of South Australia, which has passed through both Houses of State Parliament.

Additionally there are amendments being made to the Queensland Criminal Code through the Criminal Code (Child Sexual Offences Reform) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019. These amendments are to include the terminology "child abuse object" and to define it.

There is very similar wording and definitions being used in both of Bills, and the intention here is to amend existing legislation by broadening certain definitions to include 'child-like sex dolls', whether this be related to their production, dissemination or possession.

The (Federal) wording for these Amendments is as follows:

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person possesses a doll or other object; and

(b) the doll or other object resembles:

(i) a person who is, or appears to be, under 18 years of age; or

(ii) a part of the body of such a person; and;

(c) a reasonable person would consider it likely that the doll or other object is intended to be used by a person to simulate sexual intercourse.

 

In terms of Federal legislation, an offence is committed if:

- somebody possesses a doll, AND;

- that doll resembles a person who either is, or appears to be under the age of 18 years, OR;

- that doll possesses a part of the body of a person who either is or appears to be under the age of 18 years, AND;

- a 'reasonable person' considers that the doll is intended to be used to simulate sexual intercourse.

 

The suggested penalty if convicted of this offence is imprisonment for 15 years.

 

In terms of State legislation, the wording and definitions are almost identical to those of the Federal Parliament Amendments.

In South Australia, the only difference is the age referred to is "17" (not "18") and the suggested prison sentence is "10" years, (not "15").

In Queensland, the only difference is the age referred to is "16" (not "18") and the suggested prison sentence is "20" years, (not "15") for commercial supply and "14" years for possession.

Additionally, the Queensland amendment Bill further stipulates that the "predominant impression conveyed by the doll, robot or other object is that it is a representation or portrayal of a person, or part of a person, who is a child under 16 years, irrespective of whether it has adult characteristics". This suggests that regardless of body dimensions (Doll height, breast cup, hip measurements etc), the Doll facial features cannot in any way be deemed to resemble a child under the age of 16 years.

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Of all the research we have conducted here at Pleasure Dolls Australia, the only instances we have been able to find regarding seizures of child-like sex dolls and subsequent fines/sentences pertain to dolls at 100cm-105cm in height or shorter, with weights of 15kgs to 20kgs, and which overwhelmingly resemble a child.

 

Pleasure Dolls Australia does not condone the under-age sex doll industry and as such we do not advertise dolls under a height of 140cm.

At this height we realise that some lines can become blurred, especially in relation to breast cup size, and so we ensure ALL dolls advertised have adult breast sizes.

In addition, we do not advertise ANY Doll which we deem may be seen to resemble a child when considering facial / bodily features. 

We take the issue of under-age Dolls very seriously so that you, our Customers, can relax and purchase any Doll from our site without fear that you are at risk.

In addition to all of the above, Pleasure Dolls Australia takes full responsibility for ALL Customs and import charges, and deals with Customs officials if and when additional paperwork is requested to prove the value of the incoming shipment, which saves you being contacted unnecessarily.

There is absolutely NO reason that you, our Customer, need to be concerned when purchasing a Doll from our store.

No Reason. NONE. PERIOD! (You're in SAFE HANDS).

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The above contained information is current as at July 15th 2020, and every effort has been made to ensure accuracy. If you believe any of the above information to be inaccurate, please contact us immediately to let us know and we will investigate further with a view to making the necessary corrections.

Regular (weekly) checks are made to ensure the above information is up to date and relevant, and regular scans of relevant news articles and blog posts are also being made.

While we are unable to assist in answering questions of a legal nature, if you have any general questions or comments in relation to the above information, or any other questions relating to the products advertised on this site, please get in touch with us by either calling FREECALL 1800 965860 or by completing our Online Contact Form.

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