Australian Government - Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

To protect Australia's borders and foster lawful trade and travel.

Prohibited and restricted imports

See also: prohibited and restricted exports

The Australian Government controls the import of certain goods into Australia. The controls include:

  • an absolute prohibition, where you are not allowed to import the goods in any circumstances, or
  • a restriction, where you need to have written permission in order to import the goods.

The following information outlines:

  • what goods are prohibited or restricted
  • where you can obtain more information about the control, and
  • contact details to seek permission to import restricted goods.

The Customs Information and Support Centre (CISC) can provide general information about Customs and Border Protection procedures in relation to prohibited and restricted goods. You can contact the CISC on 1300 363 263 or by email.

An information sheet on the seizure of prohibited/restricted imports is available.

The information about prohibited and restricted goods provided on this website is a guide only. Customs and Border Protection recommends that you exercise care with its use. It is advised you seek more information to ensure that you will comply with legislative requirements before attempting to import restricted goods.

Anabolic or androgenic substances (restricted import)

Description:

Anabolic and androgenic substances to enhance muscle and bone growth. Health supplements and formulas may contain these substances.

No passenger exemptions apply to the importation of anabolic or androgenic substances.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Health

More information:

For more information about substances controlled under Customs legislation and licensing and permit requirements visit the Office of Chemical Safety website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

The Office of Chemical Safety
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6289 2686
Fax: +61 2 6289 2500
Email: tmu@health.gov.au


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Antibiotics (restricted import)

Description:

Traditional antibiotics such as penicillin, tetracyclines and other substances including the sulpha drugs, nitrofurazones, dapsone and rifampicin. Anti-viral medicaments are not antibiotics.

Exemption:

You do not need a permit to import antibiotics if you are a:

  • passenger on a ship or aircraft with no more than three months supply (at maximum recommended dosage) for your personal use, or that of a relative, and you have the antibiotics on you or in your accompanied baggage
  • passenger on a ship or aircraft with no more than three months supply (at maximum recommended dosage) for an animal under your care travelling on the same ship or aircraft.
  • member of a group visiting Australia to participate in a national or international sporting event and the antibiotics are to be used for the treatment of a member of the group or an animal imported and in the care of the group.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Health

More information:

For more information about substances controlled under Customs legislation visit the Office of Chemical Safety website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

The Office of Chemical Safety
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6289 2686
Fax: +61 2 6289 2500
Email: tmu@health.gov.au


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ANZAC (restricted import)

Description:

All goods bearing the word 'ANZAC' (or a similar word) and advertising material relating to such goods.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Veterans' Affairs

More information:

For more information about the protection of the word 'ANZAC' visit the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone enquiries should be directed to:

Commemorations Branch
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Telephone: +61 2 6289 6067


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Asbestos (restricted import)

Description:

Asbestos, or goods containing asbestos, is prohibited unless:

  • The asbestos or goods are hazardous waste as defined in Section 4 of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 (HW Act). Goods of this type must be imported in accordance with the provisions of the HW Act.
  • The goods are raw materials containing naturally occurring traces of asbestos
  • permission has been granted by the Minister for Employment to import asbestos for research, analysis or display (chrysotile only), or to import amphibole asbestos
  • the asbestos or goods are imported from the Australian Antarctic Territory (chrysotile only), or
  • an exemption has been granted by a relevant authority under Commonwealth, State or Territory law to import the asbestos or goods for a specific use and by the date mentioned in Schedule 3B of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 for that use (chrysotile only).

Permits/exemptions issued by:

The authorities can issue an exemption/permit in certain circumstances:

  • The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (chrysotile only)
  • The Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (chrysotile only)
  • A state/territory Workcover authority (chrysotile only)
  • The Minister for Employment

More information:

For more information about Australia's control of asbestos, contact the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency on 1300 363 079, via email or visit their website.

For more information on the conditions for issuing exemptions/permissions, contact your relevant state/territory Work Health and Safety Authority:

  • ACT - 02 6207 3000
  • NSW - 13 10 50
  • VIC - 1800 136089 or +61 3 9641 1444
  • QLD - 1300 369 915
  • WA - 1300 307 877
  • SA - 1300 365 255
  • NT - freecall 1800 019 115
  • TAS - freecall 1300 366 322

For more information about the domestic controls underpinning this regulation visit the Safe Work Australia website.

A fact sheet on importing asbestos into Australia is available.


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Cat and dog fur products (restricted import)

Description:

The goods covered by this control include raw, tanned or processed furs or pelts, and goods that may contain such fur, that are derived from the cat and dog species listed below. These species are more commonly referred to as domestic cat and dog breeds.

  • Cat fur - the pelt or hair of an animal of the species Felis catus.
  • Dog fur - the pelt or hair of an animal of the species Canis familiaris.
  • Cat or dog fur product - a product or other thing that consists, wholly or partly, of cat or dog fur.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Enquiries:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

Requests to import goods:

Requests for permission to import these goods should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au

A fact sheet on importing goods containing cat and dog fur is available.


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Ceramic ware - glazed (restricted import)

Description:

Glazed ceramic ware with heavy metals such as lead or cadmium that exceeds acceptable release levels used for, or in connection with the storage or consumption of food. It includes all types of glazed pottery/ceramics used for tableware and cooking but does not include decorative items manufactured solely for display on walls or stands.

No permit needed:

You do not need a permit to import these goods.

To certify that the goods comply with the regulation you need to obtain a testing certificate from the National Measurement Institute or a testing agency approved by the National Association of Testing Authorities Australia.

Enquiries:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au


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Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises)

Description:

Importing or exporting a cetacean, a part of a cetacean or a product derived from a cetacean.

Permits issued by:

Department of the Environment

More information:

For more information on cetaceans visit the Department of the Environment website.

Requests to import or export goods:

Requests to import or export cetaceans should be addressed to:

Department of the Environment
Wildlife Conservation Branch
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6274 1111
Fax: +61 2 6274 1666
Email: wildlifetrade@environment.gov.au


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Chemical weapons (restricted import)

Description:

Chemicals controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Permits issued by:

The Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

More information:

For more information about the Chemical Weapons Convention visit the Chemical Weapons Convention Office website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Director
Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Section
Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R.G. Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton ACT 0221

Telephone: +61 2 6261 1914 or +61 2 6261 1920
Fax: +61 2 6261 1908
Email: chemical.asno@dfat.gov.au


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Chewing tobacco and oral snuff (restricted import)

Description:

Chewing tobacco and oral snuff if imported in quantities greater than 1.5 kilograms.

Importing goods:

To import these goods you need to seek written permission from the Minister responsible for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

Product Safety Hazard Response Branch
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
PO Box 3131
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6243 1064
Fax: +61 2 6243 1073


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Cigarette lighters (restricted import)

Description:

Refillable lighters with a customs value of AUD$5 or less, disposable lighters and novelty lighters that have been designed to light cigarettes, cigars and pipes.

Importing goods:

If you want to import a cigarette lighter you must provide Customs and Border Protection with the following documentation:

  • A statutory declaration stating that a certificate of compliance, within the meaning of the American Standard 16 CFR 1210, has been issued. You must obtain a certificate of compliance from the supplier or from an appropriately recognised overseas testing laboratory, as there are no suitable testing facilities currently available in Australia, or
  • written permission from the Minister responsible for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.
Exemption:
You do not need a permit to import up to five lighters where you are a passenger 18 years or older on a ship or aircraft entering Australia.

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

Product Safety Hazard Response Branch
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
PO Box 3131
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6243 1064
Fax: +61 2 6243 1073


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Cosmetics - toxic materials (restricted import)

Description:

Cosmetic products containing more than 250mg/kg of lead except for products containing more than 250mg/kg of lead acetate designed for use in hair treatments.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Credit cards - counterfeit (restricted import)

Description:

Non-genuine credit, debit or charge cards that are made to imitate and pass for genuine cards.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Crowd control equipment (restricted import)

Description:

Anti-personnel sprays, body armour, extendable batons, electric shock devices and acoustic shock devices.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, or an authorised person, prior to the arrival of the goods in Australia.

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

For more information visit the Firearms and Weapons webpage.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Weapons and Strategic Goods
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2601


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Cultural heritage goods from Papua New Guinea (restricted import)

Description:

Goods that are the national cultural property of Papua New Guinea such as objects connected with traditional cultural life, mineral specimens or fossil/animal remains of historic interest.

Permits issued by:

The permission of the Trustees of the Papua New Guinea Public Museum and Art Gallery is needed to export or remove the goods from Papua New Guinea.

More information:

Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Telephone: +61 2 6275 6642
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Cultural heritage goods - general

Description:

Objects created or collected on religious or secular grounds because of their importance with regard to archaeology, prehistory, history, literature, art or science.

Export permission may be required:

You do not need permission from the Australian Government to import cultural heritage goods into Australia.

It may be illegal to export the goods from the country of origin without permission from the overseas government. If you export goods from the country of origin illegally then they could be seized on import and returned to the country of origin. As an importer you must ensure that all requirements to export the goods from the country of origin have been met. .

Important note: It is illegal to export dinosaur eggs or other fossils from the People's Republic of China without a permit from the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources. If you import these goods into Australia without a permit they will be seized by Customs and Border Protection and you may be prosecuted.

More information:

For more information about importing cultural heritage visit the Ministry for the Arts website.

Cultural Property Section
Ministry for the Arts
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone: +61 2 6210 2929
Fax: +61 2 6210 2905


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Diamonds - from Cote d'Ivoire (prohibited import)

Description:

Rough diamonds from Cote d'Ivoire whether or not the diamonds originate from Cote d'Ivoire.

Imports not allowed:
Imports are not allowed under any circumstances.

More information:

For more information about United Nations Security Council Resolutions visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.


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Diamonds - Kimberley Process (restricted import)

Description:

Rough diamonds are defined as diamonds that are unworked, or simply sawn, bruted or roughly shaped. Rough diamonds can only be imported in a tamper proof container from a country participating in the process and must be accompanied by a Kimberley Process Certificate verifying the goods.

Certificates issued by:

The relevant authority in the country exporting the goods to Australia.

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

For more information about the Kimberley Process for trade in rough diamonds and a list of contacts in exporting countries, visit the Kimberley Process website.


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Dog collars - protrusion (restricted import)

Description:

Dog collars designed to puncture or bruise an animal's skin.

Administered by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

Permit enquiries:

Permit enquiries should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Dogs - dangerous breeds (prohibited import)


Description:

Includes dogs of the following breeds:

  • dogo Argentino
  • fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese tosa
  • American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
  • Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario

The prohibition also covers advertising matter relating to the breeds.

Imports not allowed:
Imports are not allowed under any circumstances.

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

 

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Drugs and narcotics (restricted import)

Description:

Drugs being chemicals and compounds as listed in Schedule 4 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations, including:

  • isomers or mixture of isomers of a controlled chemicals or compounds
  • a derivative of a controlled chemical or compound, including isomers and mixtures of isomers
  • substances or things that contain controlled chemical/s or compound/s, including isomers and mixtures of isomers, and derivatives
  • other chemicals and compounds that are an immediate precursor to a controlled chemical or compound.
Exemption:

If you are a passenger arriving on board a ship or aircraft you do not need a permit if:

  • the drug is required for your own medical treatment or the treatment of another passenger or animal under your care
  • the drugs has been prescribed by a medical practitioner or veterinarian and the original prescription is presented upon arrival, and
  • the amount of drug/s does not exceed three (3) months supply at the maximum prescribed dosage.

If the prescription is not in English, then a version translated into English must also be presented. The exemption only applies to drugs carried in your accompanied baggage.

If you are a passenger aged 18 years or over you do not need a permit to import kava if:

  • the kava is in either root or dried form
  • the amount of kava does not exceed 2 kilograms, and
  • the kava is carried in your accompanied baggage.

These exemptions apply only to passengers. Any amount of controlled drugs imported by other means, such as post or air cargo, requires a permit.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Health

More information:

For more information about substances controlled under Customs legislation and licensing and permit requirements visit the Office of Chemical Safety website.

A fact sheet on importing barbiturates Pentobarbital /Nembutal is available.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

The Office of Chemical Safety
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6289 2686
Fax: +61 2 6289 2500
Email: tmu@health.gov.au


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Endangered animal and plant species - CITES (restricted import)

Description:

Animal and plant species and all products manufactured from species listed in the appendices to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Permits issued by:

The movement of species subject to CITES requires an export permit from the country of origin and an import permit from the Department of the Environment.

More information:

For more information about CITES and the species covered by the Convention visit the Department of the Environment website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

International Wildlife Trade
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6274 1900
Fax: +61 2 6274 1921
Email: wildlifetrade@environment.gov.au


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Erasers - novelty (restricted import)

Description:

Erasers resembling food in scent or appearance.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

A fact sheet on the restriction on importing certain novelty erasers into Australia is available.

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Explosives, plastic (restricted import)

Description:

Plastic explosives.

A plastic explosive is an explosive product (including an explosive product in flexible or elastic sheet form) that is:

  • formulated with:
    • one or more high explosives which in their pure form have a vapour pressure less than 10¯4 Pa at a temperature of 25°C
    • a binder material
  • as a mixture, malleable or flexible at normal room temperature.

The term 'plastic explosive' would have the same meaning as in new Subdivision B of Division 72 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

Permits issued by:

The Attorney-General or an authorised person.

Importing unmarked plastic explosives:

From 25 August 2007 it is an offence to import unmarked plastic explosives, unless a person or corporation has a valid written authorisation from the Australian Government Attorney-General.

To import unmarked plastic explosives you will need to complete the following documents:

It is recommended you complete and submit this documentation at least six weeks before the goods expected arrival in Australia.

Existing State and Territory legislation on explosives:

Each State or Territory has its own legislation governing the regulation of explosives, including plastic explosives. You must comply with each State or Territory law and obtain a Licence or Permit to use explosives in that State or Territory. You will need to obtain a State or Territory Licence or Permit before you are granted approval to import plastic explosives.
For further information on State and Territory explosive Licence or Permit requirements visit these websites:

More information:

For more information on plastic explosives visit the Plastic Explosives webpage.

Alterntaively, you can contact:

  • Security Law Branch, Attorney-General's Department on +61 2 6141 2915
  • Customs Information and Support Centre
    Telephone: 1300 363 263
    Email: information@customs.gov.au

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Security Law Branch
Attorney-General's Department
Robert Garran Offices
National Circuit
Barton ACT 2603

Telephone: +61 2 6250 6666
Website: Attorney-General's Department


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Firearms, Weapons and Ammunition (restricted import)

Description:

Military goods and other weapons including: blow pipes, crossbows, martial arts equipment, knuckle dusters, slingshots, maces and flails.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection or the Police (dependant on weapon type), prior to the arrival of the goods in Australia.

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

For more information visit the Firearms and Weapons webpage.

Goods controlled by Customs and Border Protection upon importation:

Requests to import these goods controlled by Customs and Border Protection should be addressed to:

Weapons and Strategic Goods
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2601

Goods not controlled by Customs and Border Protection:
For information on goods not controlled by Customs and Border Protection visit the Firearms and Weapons webpage.

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Fish and toothfish (restricted import)

Description:

Toothfish - Antarctic Toothfish and Patagonian Toothfish found in sub-Antarctic waters, including waters around Australia's external territory of Heard and McDonald Islands. Applies to all fish and fish parts of this species whether fresh, frozen, smoked, preserved in airtight containers or in any other form.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Agriculture

More information:

For more information about restrictions on the import of fish and toothfish visit the Department of Agriculture website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Australian Fisheries Management Authority
PO Box 7051
Canberra Business Centre
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: 1300 723 621
Fax: +61 2 6272 5784


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Fly swatters/mosquito bats - electronic (restricted import)

Description:

Hand-held electric insect zappers that have no protection against accidental contact with the electrified grid and power source exceeding 6 volts.

Administered by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

See also: Australian Customs Notice 2008/56

Enquiries:

Enquiries should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Goods bearing an image of the Australian national flag and coat of arms (restricted import)

Description:

Items or merchandise (such as souvenirs) containing or which apply a representation of the coat of arms, a flag or a seal of the Commonwealth. This includes a representation closely resembling the coat of arms, a flag or a seal of the Commonwealth, which may be taken as a true 'national symbol'.

Permits issued by:

Permits are no longer required for the Australian national flag, coat of arms or seal. If you want to import goods bearing a representation of Australia’s national symbols, you must seek approval for the design and use of the goods from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

More information:

For more information on the use of the coat of arms visit the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's website.

A fact sheet on importing goods bearing an image of the Australian flag is available.

Approving design and importing goods:

Requests to approve the design and use of imported goods should be addressed to:

Commonwealth Flag Officer
Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone: +61 2 6271 5601
Email: nationalsymbols@pmc.gov.au


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Goods bearing an image of the Australian state or territory flags and coat of arms (restricted import)

Description:

Items or merchandise (such as souvenirs) containing or which apply a representation of the coat of arms, a flag or a seal of a State or Territory of the Commonwealth. This includes a representation closely resembling the coat of arms, a flag or a seal a State or Territory of the Commonwealth, which may be taken as a true 'national symbol'.

A similar control applies to the Royal Coat of Arms, which is the coat of arms of the British Sovereign. This does not include any coat of arms of any member of the Sovereign's family or any other royal person.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

If you want to import goods bearing a representation of the State or Territory symbols, you must seek approval for the design and use from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, or Chief Minister and Cabinet in the relevant state or territory.

If approved, you can then seek permission from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to import the goods.

Approving design and layout:

Requests to approve the design and layout of imported goods should be addressed to the Department of Premier and Cabinet, or Chief Minister and Cabinet in the relevant state or territory.

For assistance with locating the correct department, please email Community Protection.

If the design and layout is approved then requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Growth hormones and substances of human or animal origin (restricted import)

Description:

Drugs including the following substances:

  • Natural and manufactured gonadotrophins (including menotrophins, Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Luteinising Hormone and Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin)
  • Natural and manufactured growth hormones, including somatropin, somatrem, somatomedins and insulin-like growth factors (not insulins) and growth hormone releasing hormone (somatorelin and synthetic analogues)
  • Erythropoietin (EPO), or
  • Darbepoetin alfa.
Exemption:

You do not need a permit if the substance:

  • is required as part of their medical treatment
  • is carried with the passenger upon arrival
  • has been prescribed by a medical practitioner and the original prescription is presented upon arrival, and
  • the amount does not exceed the amount prescribed.
Note for sports competitors:

The exemption does not apply if the substance is for the treatment of:

  • a sports competitor, or
  • a person associated with a competitor such as a coach, manager or someone providing medical treatment.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Health

More information:

For more information about substances controlled under Customs legislation, licensing and permit requirements visit the Therapeutic Goods Administration website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Therapeutic Goods Administration
GPO Box 100
Woden ACT 2606
Telephone: 1800 020 653
Email: eps@tga.gov.au


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Hazardous waste (restricted import)

Description:

Waste that is explosive, flammable, poisonous, toxic, exotoxic or infectious substances, clinical wastes, waste oils, waste residue from manufacture or household waste as defined by the Basel Convention.

Permits issued by:

Minister for the Environment

More information:

An Australian Guide to Exporting and Importing Hazardous Wastes: Applying for a Permit is available.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Hazardous Waste Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: 1800 803 772
Fax: +61 2 6274 1164
Email: hwa@environment.gov.au


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Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) (restricted import)

Description:

Non-refillable containers containing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) designed for use in maintaining refrigeration and air conditioning units.

Permits issued by:

The Minister for the Environment

More information:

For more information about the import of HFCs in non-refillable containers visit the Department of the Environment website.

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Ozone and Synthetic Gas Team
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6274 1603
Fax: +61 2 6274 1610
Email: ozone@environment.gov.au


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Incandescent lamps (restricted import)

Description:

Incandescent lamps for general lighting services that have the following attributes as specified in the Australian Standard AS 4934.2-2011 Incandescent lamps for general lighting services Part 2: Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) requirements:

  • a shape described as any of the following:
    • A50 to A65
    • PS50 to PS65
    • M50 to M65
    • T50 to T65
    • E50 to E65
  • a cap described as E14, E26, E27, B15 or B22d
  • a nominal voltage of greater than or equal to 220 volts
  • a nominal wattage of less than 150 watts

Note: This does not include primary coloured lamps.

Permits issued by:

The Minister for Industry

More information:

For more information about this control see the Australian Customs Notice No. 2009/04.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Lighting and Equipment Energy Efficiency Team
Energy Efficiency Branch
Department of Industry
GPO Box 9839
Canberra ACT 2601

Email: energyrating@industry.gov.au
Website: energyrating.gov.au


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Kava (restricted import)

Description:

A plant that is traditionally used for therapeutic and recreational purposes by certain cultures.

Permits issued:

Permits will only be issued for scientific and medical purposes.

To import kava you must obtain the following information from the Therapeutic Goods Administration:

  • Licence to Import Controlled Substances, and
  • Import permit for each consignment of kava.

You must present the original copy of the import permit for each consignment to Customs and Border Protection when the goods arrive in Australia.

Exemption:

If you are a passenger, on a ship or aircraft, aged 18 years or over, you may import up to two kilograms of kava in either root or dried powder form in your accompanied baggage without a permit.

This exemption does not apply to kava being imported via post, courier services or unaccompanied baggage. In these cases you must provide Customs and Border Protection with an import permit.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Health

More information:

For more information on licences and permits including copies of the Kava Importation Kit visit the Office of Chemical Safety website.

Requests to import kava:

Requests to import kava should be addressed to:

The Office of Chemical Safety
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6289 2686
Fax: +61 2 6289 2500
Email: tmu@health.gov.au


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Knives and daggers (restricted import)

Description:

Daggers, automatic knives, single handed opening knives, butterfly knives, trench knives, ballistic knives, concealed knives/blades, throwing knives/blades/axes, star knives, push knives, sheath knives, non-metallic knives.

Permits issued by:

To import daggers and throwing knives/blades/axes you need written Police Certification (B709B Form) from the relevant Police Firearms Registry, prior to the arrival of the goods in Australia.

To import all other knives you need written permission from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, prior to the arrival of the goods in Australia.

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

For more information visit the Firearms and Weapons webpage.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Weapons and Strategic Goods
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2601


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Laser pointers (restricted import)

Description:

Hand-held devices commonly known as laser pointers with an accessible emission level of greater than 1mW.

Permits issued by:

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, or an authorised person, prior to the arrival of the goods in Australia.

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

For more information visit the Firearms and Weapons webpage.

Contacts:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Weapons and Strategic Goods
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600


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Money boxes, novelty - toxic materials (restricted import)

Description:

Novelty money boxes, designed or marketed for children, coated with material containing more than 90mg/kg of lead.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

A fact sheet on restrictions on importing money boxes into Australia is available.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Ozone depleting substances/Synthetic Greenhouse Gases (restricted import)

Description:

Chemicals including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons carbon tetrachloride; methyl chloroform, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), bromochloromethane (BCMs), hydrbromfluorocarbons (HBFCs), methyl bromide and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

Synthetic Greenhouse Gas and Ozone Depleting Substances equipment, being air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment that contains HFCs and HCFCs, including such equipment fitted to motor vehicles.

Permits issued by:

Licences to import are issued by the Minister for the Environment under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.

More information:

For more information about Australia's ozone protection requirements visit the Department of the Environment website.

A fact sheet on importing and exporting Synthetic Greenhouse Gas and Ozone Depleting Substances is available.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Ozone and Synthetic Gas Team
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6274 1373
Fax: +61 2 6274 1610
Email: ozone@environment.gov.au


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Pencils and paintbrushes - toxic materials (restricted import)

Description:

Pencils and paintbrushes with a coating that contains excess amounts of toxic compounds such as lead, arsenic and barium.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

A fact sheet on restrictions on importing pencils or paint brushes into Australia is available.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Pesticides and other hazardous chemicals (restricted import)

Description:

Chemicals restricted under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and/or domestic regulations.

Permits issued by:

The Minister for Agriculture

More information:

For more information about the controlled chemicals permit requirements visit the Department of Agriculture website.

For more information about consent to import unapproved active constituents or unregistered agricultural or veterinary chemical products visit the Australian Pesticides & Medicines Authority website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Technical and International Policy Section
Food and Product Safety and Integrity Branch
Agriculture and Veterinary Chemicals
Department of Agriculture
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6272 3933


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Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Terphenyls and Polyphenyls (restricted import)

Description:

Polychlorinated and Biphenyls (PCBs) and Polychlorinated Terphenyls (PCTs). PCBs have been used in electrical appliances (such as transformers and capacitors), as coolants (often in light fittings), hydraulic fluids, plasticisers and dye carriers.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre

Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

For general information relating to controls on industrial chemicals, visit the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) website or email NICNAS.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import PCBs and PCTs should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Pornography and other objectionable material (restricted import)

Description:

Includes publications, films, computer games and any other goods that describe, depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime cruelty, violence, terrorist acts or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults.

Permits issued by:

Director Classification Branch

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

For more information see the Australian Customs Notice - ACN 2009/55.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to the Classification Branch:

The Director
Classification Branch
Locked Bag 3
Haymarket NSW 1240

Telephone: +61 2 9289 7100
Facsimile: +61 2 9289 7101
Email: enquiries@classification.gov.au

For more information visit the Australian Classification website.

The Classification Branch is unable to answer your questions via telephone about permission to import these goods. Importers are required to submit their request in writing either by mail or email.

Importers are required to submit their request in writing either by mail or email. In order to apply for permission to import objectionable material goods.

You will need to make a case according to the regulations in order to apply for permission to import objectionable material goods, including computer games. You may not be granted an import permit if the goods are for personal use.


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Radioactive substances (restricted import)

Description:

Radioactive substances including any radioactive material or substance including radium, any radioactive isotope or any article containing radioactive material or substance.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Health

More information:

For more information about substances controlled under Customs legislation and licensing and permit requirements visit the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency website.

Permit enquiries:

Enquiries about import permissions should be addressed to:

Imports Permits Officer
PO Box 655
Miranda NSW 1490
Telephone: +61 2 9541 8333
Fax: +61 2 9541 8314
Email: info@arpansa.gov.au


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Sanctioned countries/entities

In situations where the United Nations Security Council has determined the existence of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or an act of aggression it decides on certain measures that should be taken to maintain or restore international peace and security. The measures that do not involve the use of armed force are known as sanctions. Members of the United Nations are legally bound to carry out those measures.

The Australian Government may also impose autonomous sanctions as a foreign policy response to situations of international concern. In some cases, autonomous sanctions may be used to supplement UNSC sanctions.

The countries below are currently subject to either UN or autonomous sanctions and imports from those countries may be prohibited or restricted.

Eritrea (ER)

Description:

Restricted - you need permission to import required Arms or related matériel including: weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, and spare parts for such goods, paramilitary equipment.

Iran (IR)

Description:

Restricted - permission to import:

  • Arms and related matériel including weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment and spare parts for such goods, paramilitary equipment
  • items, materials, equipment, goods and technology listed in United Nations Security Council document S/2006/814
  • items, materials, equipment, goods and technology listed in United Nations Security Council document S/2006/815
  • specified crude oil, petroleum and petrochemical products, and
  • gold, precious metals and diamonds from the government of Iran or a public body, corporation or agency of the government of Iran or specified entities.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) (KP)

Description:

Restricted - permission to import:

  • Arms and related matériel including weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment and spare parts for such goods
  • paramilitary equipment
  • goods that are capable of being used in the development, production or stockpiling of nuclear, biological chemical weapons, and
  • goods that are capable of being used in the development or production of missiles that are capable of delivering nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya) (LY)

Description:

Restricted - you need permission to import required Arms and related matériel including weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment and spare parts for such goods, paramilitary equipment.

More information:

The descriptions above are not exhaustive. Contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in relation to goods and / or entities that may be subject to United Nations or Autonomous Sanctions.

For further information contact:
Sanctions and Transnational Crime
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Telephone: + 61 2 6261 1111
Fax: + 61 2 6261 3111

Applying for permission to import:

You should direct applications for permission to import restricted items to DFAT’s Online Sanctions Administration System.


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Security Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate (SSAN)

Description:

Security Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate (SSAN) is defined as:

  • ammonium nitrate, or
  • an emulsion of ammonium nitrate that is made up of more than 45 per cent ammonium nitrate, and
  • a mixture of ammonium nitrate that is made up of more than 45 per cent ammonium nitrate but does not include a solution of ammonium nitrate. A solution of ammonium nitrate is ammonium nitrate dissolved in water.

Permits issued by:

To import ammonium nitrate you need a permit from the relevant State or Territory Regulator.

More information:

For more information on SSAN and permit requirements visit the following websites:


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Suicide devices (prohibited import)

Description:

Devices designed or customised to be used by a person to commit suicide, or to be used by a person to assist another person to commit suicide.

Imports not allowed:
Imports are not allowed under any circumstances.

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au


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Tablet Presses (restricted import)

Description:

Tablet presses are defined as manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic equipment that can be used for the compaction or moulding of powdered or granular solids, or semi-solid material, to produce coherent solid tablets. The control does not include encapsulators or tablet press parts such as punches or dies.

Permits issued by:

Customs and Border Protection

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

For more information see:

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Community Protection
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Ave
Canberra City ACT 2601

Phone: +61 2 6275 5963
Fax: +61 2 6229 3840
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Therapeutic drugs and substances (restricted import)

Description:

Drugs and substances including abortifacients, aphrodisiacs and others controlled for health reasons. This also includes laetrile and thalidomide.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Health

More information:

For more information about substances controlled under Customs legislation and licensing and permit requirements visit the Therapeutic Goods Administration website and follow the link to Personal Import/Export.

A fact sheet on importing abortion inducing substances is available.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Therapeutic Goods Administration
GPO Box 100
Woden ACT 2606
Telephone: 1800 020 653
Email: eps@tga.gov.au


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Tobacco - unmanufactured leaf (restricted import)

Description:

Unmanufactured tobacco that is not stemmed or stripped. This includes tobacco in the form of whole tobacco plants or leaves in the natural state or as cured or fermented leaves.

Permits issued by:

The Commissioner of Taxation

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Excise and EEG Licensing Group
Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 3514
Albury NSW 2640
Telephone: 1300 137 290
Fax: 1300 130 916
Email: ATO-EXC-Tobacco@ato.gov.au


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Toys - toxic material (restricted import)

Description:

Children's toys or playthings with a coating that contains excess amounts of toxic compounds such as lead, arsenic and barium.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

A fact sheet on restrictions on importing toys into Australia is available.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City ACT 2600
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Trade Practices Act goods (restricted import)

Description:

Goods subject to a permanent ban under the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Competition & Consumer Act 2010) including: glucomannan, certain seat accessories and sun visors, certain toys, oral snuff and chewing tobacco (if imported in quantities greater than 1.5 kilograms), certain water ski releases, gas masks containing asbestos, and candles/candlewicks containing leads.

Permits issued by:

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
Email: information@customs.gov.au

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:
Director
Product Safety Hazard Response Branch
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
PO Box 3131
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6243 1232
Fax: +61 2 6243 1073


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Viable materials/stem cells derived from human embryo clones (prohibited import)

Description:

Living tissues and cells (viable material) derived from human embryo clones.

Permits issued by:
The National Health and Medical Research Council

More information:

Community Protection
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
Telephone: +61 2 6275 6114
Email: community.protection@customs.gov.au


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Woolpacks (restricted import)

Description:

Woolpacks used for the storage and transporting of greasy wool or scoured wool. Woolpack caps (the cover) used to seal older style woolpacks.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Agriculture

More information:

Meat, Wool and Dairy Branch
Agricultural Industries Division
Department of Agriculture
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6272 5680
Fax: +61 2 6272 4246
Email: woolanddairy@daff.gov.au

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Meat, Wool and Dairy Branch
Agricultural Industries Division
Department of Agriculture
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6272 5680


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