An Auckland company refused an export licence to send military-style laser harnesses to Israel's Ministry of Defence may be asked to explain if it has sent the technical knowledge to make the training equipment.

Customs officials have confirmed to the Herald that they are studying leaked documents which question whether the company, Oscmar International, has complied with laws restricting the export of military goods and technology.

Last year Oscmar was twice refused a licence to export the actual harnesses, but it is unclear if exporting the information needed to make the harnesses would be banned.

The documents say the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) rejected Oscmar's application because of the potential for the export to contribute to regional conflict.

The ministry also cited a provision which means a licence can be turned down because of the recipient country's record in international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict.

The final decision, taken in June, came "after extensive consultation within the Government", MFAT said.

Oscmar's applications coincided with publicity surrounding the arrest of two suspected Mossad agents caught trying to obtain a false New Zealand passport.

A summary of the documents has been posted on the internet by the non-government organisation, Network Opposed to Weapons and Related Production.

They suggest that after being denied an export licence, Oscmar investigated sending its parent company in the United States the technical know-how to manufacture the laser detection harnesses, which were to be used by the Israeli Defence Force for training.

The harnesses, worn during training exercises, detect laser beams sent out by simulated weapons, and register when a soldier has been "hit". The exporting of intellectual property under the Strategic Goods List, which governs military exports, is allowed in some circumstances but not others.

Oscmar referred the Herald's questions to its parent, Cubic Corporation, which said it believed it had met all New Zealand exporting laws.

"Cubic Corporation is confident that Oscmar International Ltd is in compliance with the applicable provisions of New Zealand law, and we are committed to full compliance in any future efforts involving our two companies," Cubic spokeswoman Jan Stevens said from San Diego.

The company would not make any further comment, or confirm whether intellectual property for a harness had been exported. A Customs spokeswoman said it appeared that if the knowledge was sent overseas by email, it may be allowed.

But if intellectual property was transferred in document form, or by computer disk, that would be a breach of export laws.

Customs was seeking more legal advice before a decision on whether to question Oscmar.

Disarmament Minister Marian Hobbs has been told of the documents, but her office said she had referred the issue to MFAT.

Oscmar's website says the company is a leading supplier of defence training systems internationally.