prohibited and restricted imports

See also: prohibited and restricted exports

The Australian Government controls the import of certain goods into Australia. The controls either take the form of:

  • an absolute prohibition, which means that 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 broadly outlines what goods are prohibited or restricted, where you can obtain more information about the control and, in the case of restricted goods, the mailing address or e-mail address to use to apply for permission to import.

The Customs Information and Support Centre (CISC) can provide general information about Customs procedures in relation to prohibited and restricted goods. You can contact the CISC by telephone on 1300 363 263 or by e-mail at information@customs.gov.au.

Information Sheet - seizure of prohibited/restricted Imports

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. Customs and Border Protection further recommends that you seek more detailed information to ensure that you will comply with legislative requirements before attempting to import restricted goods.

Anabolic or androgenic substances  Fish and toothfish 
Antibiotics  Fly swatters/mosquito bats - electronic 
ANZAC  Growth hormones and substances of human or animal origin 
Asbestos  Hazardous waste 
Australian flag and coats of arms  Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) 
Cat and dog fur products  Incandescent lamps 
Ceramic ware - glazed  Kava 
Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises)  Knives and daggers 
Chemical weapons  Laser pointers 
Chewing tobacco and oral snuff  Money boxes, novelty - toxic materials 
Cigarette lighters  Ozone depleting substances/Synthetic Green House Gases
Cosmetics - toxic materials  Pencils and paintbrushes - toxic materials 
Credit cards - counterfeit  Pesticides 
Crowd control equipment  Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Terphenyls and Polyphenyls 
Cultural and heritage goods - general  Pornography and other objectionable material 
Cultural and heritage goods from Papua New Guinea  Radioactive substances 
Diamonds - from Cote d'Ivoire  Sanctioned Countries/Entities
Diamonds - Kimberley Process  Secure Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate (SSAN)
Dog collars - protrusion  Suicide devices 
Dogs - dangerous breeds  Tablet presses
Drugs and narcotics  Therapeutic drugs and substances
Embryo clones - viable materials  Tobacco - unmanufactured leaf
Endangered animal and plant species - CITES  Toys - toxic materials 
Erasers - novelty  Trade Practices Act goods 
Explosives, plastic  Weapons 
Firearms and ammunition  Woolpacks 

 


 
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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:

More information about substances controlled under Customs legislation and licensing and permit requirements is available from The Office of Chemical Safety website.

Address:

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
E-mail: tmu@health.gov.au


 

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Antibiotics (restricted import)

Description:

Traditional antibiotics such as penicillin and tetracyclines as well as 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 where:

  • 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 your person or in your accompanied baggage; or
  • you are a 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.
  • you are a member of 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:

More information about substances controlled under Customs legislation is available from The Office of Chemical Safety website.

Address:

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
E-mail: 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 Veteran's Affairs

More information:

More information about protection of the word 'ANZAC' is available at the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.

Address:

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 Veteran's Affairs
Telephone: (02) 6289 6067


 

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

Description:

Items or merchandise (such as souvenirs) that contain or to which is applied a representation of the Arms, a flag or a seal of the Commonwealth. This includes a representation so nearly resembling the Arms, a flag or a seal of the Commonwealth as to be likely to be taken as a true 'national symbol'.

Permits issued by:

Permits are no longer required for the Australian national flag or Coat of Arms or seal, but approval for the design and use of the goods must be obtained from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in order to import the goods

More information:

Persons seeking to import goods bearing a representation of Australia’s national symbols must first obtain approval for the design and use from the Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

More information about the use of the Arms is available at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's website.

Fact sheet - importing goods bearing an image of the Australian flag

Address:

Requests to approve the design and layout 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: 02 6271 5601
E-mail: nationalsymbols@pmc.gov.au 


 

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

Description:

Items or merchandise (such as souvenirs) that contain or to which is applied a representation of the Arms, a flag or a seal of a State or Territory of the Commonwealth. This includes a representation so nearly resembling the Arms, a flag or a seal a State or Territory of the Commonwealth as to be likely to be taken as a true 'national symbol'.

Additionally a similar control applies to the Royal Coat of Arms, that 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:

Persons seeking to import goods bearing a representation of the State or Territory symbols, must first obtain 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, permission can then be sought from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to import the goods. 

Address:

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@customs.gov.au

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
E-mail: community.protection@customs.gov.au


 

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Asbestos (restricted import)

Description:

Asbestos, or goods containing asbestos, is prohibited unless:

  1. 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;
  2. The goods are raw materials containing naturally occurring traces of asbestos; or
  3. Permission has been granted by the Minister for Employment to import asbestos for research, analysis or display (chrysotile only), or to import amphibole asbestos; or
  4. The asbestos or goods are imported from the Australian Antarctic Territory (chrysotile only); or
  5. 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:

An exemption/permit can be issued in certain circumstances by the following authorities:

  1. The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (chrysotile only);
  2. The Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (chrysotile only);
  3. A State/Territory Workcover authority (chrysotile only); or
  4. The Minister for Employment.

For further information about Australia's control of asbestos, contact the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (www.asbestossafety.gov.au; enquiries@asbestossafety.gov.au; 1300 363 079).

More information:

For further information on the conditions for the issuing of exemptions/permissions, please contact the relevant WHS authority in your State/Territory:

  • ACT - 02 6207 3000
  • NSW - 13 10 50
  • VIC - 1800 136089 or (03) 9641 1444
  • QLD - 1300 369 915
  • WA - 1300 307 877
  • SA - 1300 365 255
  • NT - Freecall 1800 019 115
  • TAS - Freecall 1300 366 322

More information about the domestic controls underpinning this regulation is available at the Safe Work Australia website: http://safeworkaustralia.gov.au

This document is a PDF document Fact Sheet - Importing Asbestos into Australia


 

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

Permits Issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

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

Address:

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
E-mail: community.protection@customs.gov.au

This document is a PDF document Importing goods containing cat and dog fur


 

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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.

However you do need to obtain a testing certificate from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute (NMI) or a testing agency approved by the National Association of Testing Authorities Australia to certify that the goods comply with the regulation.

Enquiries:

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


 

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Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises)

Description:

Importing/Exporting a cetacean, a part of a cetacean or a product derived from a cetacean.

Permits issued by:

Department of the Environment

More information:

Available at Department of the Environment website

Address:  Requests to import/export cetaceans should be addressed to:

Department of the Environment
Wildlife Conservation Branch
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Telephone: 02 6274 1111
Facsimile: 02 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:

More information about the Chemical Weapons Convention is available at the Chemical Weapons Convention Office website.

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:
Head
Chemical Weapons Convention Office
Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
RG Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
BARTON ACT 0221
Telephone: 02 6266 1920

Telephone: +61 02 6261 1914 +61 02 6261 1920
Facsimile: +61 02 6261 1908
email: 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 kg.

Importation:

A written permission from the Minister responsible for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.

More information:

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

Product Safety Hazard Response Branch
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
PO Box 3131
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Telephone: (02) 6243 1064
Facsimile: (02) 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.

Importation:

Importers need to produce to Customs either:

  • A statutory declaration stating that a certificate of compliance, within the meaning of the American Standard 16 CFR 1210, has been issued. Importers must obtain a certificate of compliance from the supplier, or from an appropriate recognised overseas testing laboratory as no such suitable testing facilities are currently available in Australia; or
  • A 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
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

Product Safety Hazard Response Branch
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
PO Box 3131
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Telephone: (02) 6243 1064
Facsimile: (02) 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
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

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
E-mail: 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

More information:

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

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
E-mail: mailto: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, 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 centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

Please see the importing firearms and weapons webpage for detailed information

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Firearms and Weapons Section
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
CANBERRA ACT 2601


 

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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 the permission of the Australian Government to import cultural heritage goods into Australia. HOWEVER 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 in 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. Such goods when imported into Australia without a permit will be seized by Customs and the importer may be prosecuted.

More information:

More information about importing cultural heritage is available at the Ministry for the Arts website: http://www.arts.gov.au/movable

Cultural Property Section
Ministry for the Arts
PO Box 6500
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6210 2929
Facsimile: 02 6210 2905


 

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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 or 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: 02 6275 6642
E-mail: community.protection@customs.gov.au


 

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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 are not allowed under any circumstances.

More information:

More information about United Nations Security Council Resolutions is available from 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
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au
More information about the Kimberley Process for trade in rough diamonds and a list of contacts in exporting countries is available at 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
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

Address:

Permit enquiries should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2600
E-mail: community.protection@customs.gov.au


 

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Dogs - dangerous breeds (prohibited import)

Description:

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 are not allowed under any circumstances.

More information:

Customs Information and Support Centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
E-mail: 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. This includes

  • 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; or
  • other chemicals and compounds that are an immediate precursor to a controlled chemical or compound.
Exemption

Passengers arriving on board a ship or aircraft do not need a permit if:

  • the drug is required for their own medical treatment or the treatment of another passenger or animal under their care; AND
  • 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 the passenger's accompanied baggage.

Passengers aged 18 years or more 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 the passenger's accompanied baggage.

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

Permits issued by:

Minister for Health

More information:

More information about substances controlled under Customs legislation and licensing and permit requirements is available from The Office of Chemical Safety website.

Fact Sheet - Importing Barbiturates Pentobarbital /Nembutal

Address:

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
E-mail: tmu@health.gov.au


 

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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 are issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

More information:

Community Protection, Trade Branch
Telephone: 02 6275 6114
E-mail: community.protection@customs.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:

More information about CITES and the species covered by the Convention is available at the Department of the Environment website.

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

International Wildlife Trade
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Telephone: 02 6274 1900
Facsimile: 02 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
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

This document is a PDF document Fact Sheet - Restriction on importing certain novelty erasers into Australia

Permit enquiries:

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
E-mail: community.protection@customs.gov.au


 

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Explosives, plastic (restricted import)

Description:

 

Plastic explosives.

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

  1. formulated with:
    1. 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
    2. a binder material
  2. 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.

More information:

 

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

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

It is recommended you complete and submit them at least 6 weeks before the goods' expected arrival in Australia.

Further information can be accessed via the internet link for plastic explosives, or by contacting:

Security Law Branch, Attorney-General's Department on telephone +61 2 6250 6666.

and

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

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 please refer to the following websites:

             

Address:

 

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 enquiries to:  +61 2 6250 6666

Further information may be obtained at http://www.ag.gov.au/

Firearms and ammunition (restricted import)

Description:

Firearms, firearm accessories, firearm parts, firearm magazines, ammunition, components of ammunition and replicas are controlled on importation.

More information:

Customs information centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au  

pdf Importing ammunition and firearm magazines (862 kb)

pdf Importing Category A and B firearms (864 kb) 

pdf Importing Category C firearms (865 kb)

pdf Importing firearm replicas (742 kb) 

pdf Importing handguns (882 kb)

IMPORTING%20SELF-LOADING%20PUMPACTION%20AND%20AUTOMATIC%20FIREARMS Importing self-loading, pump action and automatic firearms (698 kb)

pdf Importing military-style firearms (884 kb) June 2008

pdf Importing paintball markers (748 kb)

pdf Importing soft air (BB) firearms (789 kb)

pdf Importing firearm parts and accessories (860 kb)

pdf Importing antique and muzzle-loading firearms (835 kb) 

This document is a PDF document Australian Customs Notice 2003/08

Contacts:

Contact details of the police firearms and weapons registries and the Attorney-General's Department can be found on the following fact sheet.

Firearms%20and%20Weapons%20Information%20Contacts Firearms and weapons information contacts (763 kb)


 

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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:

More information about restrictions on the import of fish and toothfish is available at the Department of Agriculture website.

Address:

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
Facsimile: 02 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
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

See also: Australian Customs Notice 2008/56

Address:

Inquiries should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2600
E-mail: 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 (see also note for sports competitors)

Passengers do not need a permit if the substance:

  • is required as part of their medical treatment; AND
  • 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.
Important 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:

More information about substances controlled under Customs legislation and licensing and permit requirements is available from the Therapeutic Goods Administration
website.

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Therapeutic Goods Administration
GPO Box 100
WODEN ACT 2606
Telephone: 1800 020 653
E-mail: 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 at the Department of the Environment.

Address:

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
Facsimile: 02 6274 1164
Email: hwa@environment.gov.au


 

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Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) (restricted import)

Description:

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

Permits issued by:

The Minister for the Environment

More information:

More information about the import of HFCs in non-refillable containers is available at the Department of the Environment.

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: 02 6274 1603
Facsimile: 02 6274 1610
E-mail: 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) a shape described as any of:

(i) A50 to A65; or
(ii) PS50 to PS65; or
(iii) M50 to M65; or        
(iv) T50 to T65; or
(v) E50 to E65;

(b) a cap described as E14, E26, E27, B15 or B22d;
(c) a nominal voltage of greater than or equal to 220 V;
(d) a nominal wattage of <150 W;
but not including primary coloured lamps 

Permits issued by:

The Minister for Industry

More information:

More information about this control can be found on the Australian Customs Notice No. 2009/04

Address:

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
Web: 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.

Please note, permits will only be issued for scientific and medical purposes.

Importers must obtain the following from the Therapeutic Goods Administration before importing kava:

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

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

Exemption:

A passenger, on a ship or aircraft, aged 18 years or more, may import up to two (2) kilograms of kava in either root or dried powder form in their accompanied baggage without a permit.

This exemption does not apply to kava being imported via post, courier services or unaccompanied baggage. In these cases an import permit is required to be presented to Customs.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Health

More information:

Further information on licences and permits including copies of the Kava Importation Kit can be obtained from The Office of Chemical Safety website.

Address:

Requests to import kava should be addressed to:

The Office of Chemical
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6289 2686
Fax: +61 2 6289 2500
E-mail: 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:

Daggers and throwing knives/blades/axes require written Police Certification (B709B Form) from the relevant Police Firearms Registry, prior to the arrival of the goods in Australia. All other knives require written permission to import from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, prior to the arrival of the goods in Australia.

More information:

Customs information centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au  

Please see the importing firearms and weapons webpage for detailed information

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Firearms and Weapons Section
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
CANBERRA 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 centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au  

Please see the importing firearms and weapons webpage for detailed information

Contacts:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

National Manager
Trade Branch
C/- Firearms and Weapons Section
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

This document is a PDF document Fact Sheet - Restrictions on importing money boxes into Australia

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
E-mail: 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:

More information about Australia's ozone protection requirements is available at the Department of the Environment website.

This document is a PDF document Fact Sheet - Importing and Exporting Synthetic Greenhouse Gas and Ozone Depleting Substances

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: 02 6274 1373
Facsimile: 02 6274 1610
E-mail: 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
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

This document is a PDF document Fact Sheet - Restrictions on importing pencils or paint brushes into Australia

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
E-mail: 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:

More information about the controlled chemicals permit requirements is available from the Australian government Department of Agriculture.

Information about Consent to import unapproved active constituents or unregistered agricultural or veterinary chemical products can be found at the Australian Pesticides & Medicines Authority website at http://www.apvma.gov.au.

Address:

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: 02 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

E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

Note: For information relating to controls on industrial chemicals in general, visit the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme website or email info@nicnas.gov.au

Address:

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
E-mail: 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
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

Australian Customs Notice - ACN 2009/55

Address:

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

The Director 
Classification Branch
Locked Bag 3
HAYMARKET NSW 1240

Telephone: 02 9289 7100
Facsimile: 02 9289 7101
Email: enquiries@classification.gov.au

Please note that the Classification Branch is unable to answer questions about permission to import by telephone. 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, including computer games, the importer will need to make a case according to the regulations. Import permits may not be granted simply on the grounds 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:

More information about substances controlled under Customs legislation and licensing and permit requirements is available at the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency website.

Permit enquiries:

Inquiries about import permissions should be addressed to:

Imports Permits Officer
PO Box 655
MIRANDA NSW 1490
Telephone: 02 9541 8333
Facsimile: 02 9541 8314
E-mail: 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 - 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 required

  • 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 required

  • 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 - 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.  Please 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
Phone: + 61 2 6261 1111
Fax: + 61 2 6261 3111

Address:

Applications for permission to import restricted items should be directed 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:

The importation of ammonium nitrate requires a permit from the relevant State or Territory Regulator. 

More information:

For further information on SSAN and permit requirements please refer to 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 are not allowed under any circumstances.

More information:

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

Australian Customs Notice - 2010/07

Australian Customs Notice - 2010/30

Fact Sheet

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be forwarded to the following address:

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

Phone: (02) 6275 5963
Fax: (02) 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:

More information about substances controlled under Customs legislation and licensing and permit requirements is available from the Therapeutic Goods Administration website(follow the link to Personal Import/Export).

Fact Sheet - Importing Abortion Inducing Substances

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Therapeutic Goods Administration
GPO Box 100
WODEN ACT 2606
Telephone: 1800 020 653
E-mail: 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

Address:

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
Facsimile: 1300 130 916
E-mail: 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
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

This document is a PDF document Fact Sheet - Restrictions on importing toys into Australia

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
E-mail: 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 kg), 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
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au

Address:

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: (02) 6243 1232
Facsimile: (02) 6243 1073


 

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Weapons (restricted import)

Description:

Military goods and other weapons including: blow pipes, crossbows, martial arts equipment, knuckle dusters, slingshots, maces, 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 centre
Telephone: 1300 363 263
E-mail: information@customs.gov.au  

Please see the importing firearms and weapons webpage for detailed information

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Firearms and Weapons Section
Trade Branch
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
5 Constitution Avenue
CANBERRA ACT 2601

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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: 02 6272 5680
Fax: 02 6272 4246
Email: woolanddairy@daff.gov.au

Address:

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: 02 6272 5680


 

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