Businesses, Agents and Trade Professionals

Prohibited And Restricted Exports

The Australian Government controls the export of certain goods from Australia. The controls include:

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

The information about prohibited and restricted goods provided on this website is a guide only. Please exercise care with its use. Please seek more information to ensure that you will comply with legislative requirements before attempting to export restricted goods.

Asbestos

Description: Asbestos and goods containing asbestos. An exemption exists under this regulation for goods containing asbestos under the following conditions:
Exemption: An exemption exists for goods containing asbestos under the following conditions:
  • The goods are considered to be 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; or
  • The goods are raw materials containing naturally occurring traces of asbestos.
Permits/ exemptions issued by: These authorities can issue an exemption/permit in certain circumstances:
  • The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission
  • The Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority
  • A State/Territory Workcover authority
  • The Minister for Employment
More information: 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.

Biological agents

Description: Certain biological agents and equipment that could be used in weapons of mass destruction programs, including equipment, facilities, technologies and materials that have a valid civil application but may be diverted for use in weapon of mass destruction programmes.
Permits issued by: Minister for Defence
More information: A full listing of controlled agents and equipment is included on the Defence and Strategic Goods List. For more information on controlled agents and equipment visit the Defence Export Control Office website. Enquiries can be made on 1800 66 10 66 or by email.
Requests to export goods: Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:
Defence Export Control Office
Department of Defence
R1-1-A038, Russell Offices
Canberra ACT 2600

Cat and dog fur (restricted export)

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
More information: Contact the Department
Requests to export goods: Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:
Assistant Secretary
Trade Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616
Email: regulated.goods.policy@border.gov.au

Certain chemical compounds

Description: Certain chemicals, including those covered by the Chemical Weapons Convention, and related equipment, facilities, technologies and materials which have a legitimate commercial purpose may also be used in the development or production of weapons of mass destruction.
Permits issued by: Minister for Defence
More information: Controlled chemicals and related equipment are listed on the Defence and Strategic Goods List. For more information on certain chemical compounds visit the Defence Export Control Office website.
Requests to export goods: Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:
Department of Defence
Defence Export Control Office
R1-1-A037 PO Box 7901
Canberra BC ACT 2610 Telephone: 1800 66 11 66 or + 61 2 6266 7222 (from outside Australia)
Email: DECO@defence.gov.au

Credit cards - counterfeit

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: National Operations Monitoring Centre
Australian Federal Police
Telephone: +61 2 6275 7348
Fax: +61 2 6275 7594
Email: NATOMC@afp.gov.au
Requests to export goods: Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:
The Co-ordinator
National Operations Monitoring Centre
Australian Federal Police
GPO Box 401
Canberra ACT 2601

Cultural and heritage goods

Description: Australian protected objects listed on the National Cultural Heritage Control List.
Prohibited exports: Objects listed as Class A, such as Victoria Cross medals awarded to Australian service personnel, are prohibited exports and cannot be exported under any circumstances.
Permitted exports: Objects listed as Class B, such as items of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, may be exported if granted a permit under the Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986.
Permits issued by: Minister for the Arts
More information: More information on the export of 'Australian protected objects' visit the Minister for the Arts website.
A fact sheet on the protection of movable cultural heritage items is available.
Requests to export goods: Requests to export Class B goods should be addressed to:
Movable Cultural Heritage Unit
Ministry for the Arts
GPO Box 803
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6210 2929
Fax: +61 2 6210 2905

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: Minister for the Environment
More information: For more information on cetaceans visit the Department of the Environment website.
Requests to export goods: Requests to import/export cetaceans should be addressed to:
The Director
Wildlife Trade Regulation Section
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

Defence and Strategic Goods

Description: Goods included on the Defence and Strategic Goods List. (DSGL) The DSGL covers defence and related goods as well as dual use goods and technologies that have a valid commercial application, and may also be used in the development and deployment of military systems or weapons of mass destruction programs.
Permits issued by: Minister for Defence Goods that are exported to a sanctioned country or entity may also require permission to export from the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Requests to export goods: For more information, including how to apply for permission to export these types of goods, visit the Defence Export Control Office website.
Department of Defence
R1-1-A037 PO Box 7901
Canberra ACT 2610
Telephone: 1800 66 10 66 or +61 2 6266 7222 (from outside Australia)
Email: deco@defence.gov.au

Further information on sanctioned countries and / or entities is available on the DFAT website.

Applications for permission to export restricted items to sanctioned countries and/or entities should be directed to DFAT’s Online Sanctions Administration System.

Sanctioned countries/entities: For more information on sanctioned countries and/or entities visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Requests to export restricted items to sanctioned countries and/or entities should be directed to DFAT’s Online Sanctions Administration System.

Diamonds - Kimberley Process

Description:

Rough diamonds may only be exported to a country which is participating in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and must be accompanied by an Australian Kimberley Process Certificate.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Industry

More information:

For more information on the Kimberley Process for trade in rough diamonds visit the Department of Industry website and search for 'diamond export' and the Kimberley Process website.

Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

Manager
Minerals Development Section
Mining Industries Branch
Resources Division
Department of Industry
GPO Box 1564
Canberra City ACT 2601

Telephone: +61 2 6213 6946

Drugs

Description:

Narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, including a chemical or compound and a plant or a part of a plant, and anabolic and androgenic substances.

Exemption:

If you are a passenger departing on board a ship or aircraft may not need a permit for certain drugs if:

  • the drugs are required for your own medical treatment or the treatment of another passenger or animal under your care
  • the drugs have been prescribed by a medical practitioner or veterinarian and the original prescription can be presented upon departure, and
  • the amount of drug/s is supplied in accordance with the prescription.

The exemption only applies to passengers and drugs carried in the passenger's accompanied baggage. Any controlled drugs exported by other means, such as post or air cargo, requires a permit.

Permits issued by: Minister for Health
More information: For more information on substances controlled under customs legislation, licensing and permit requirements visit the Office of Chemical Safety website.
Requests to export goods: Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

The Drug Control Section
Scientific Evaluation and Special Product Access Branch
Therapeutic Goods Administration
PO Box 100
Woden ACT 2606
Telephone: +61 2 6289 2686
Fax: +61 2 6289 2500
Email: dcs@tga.gov.au

Endangered animal and plant species - CITES

Description:

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

Australian native animals and plants which are described in the List of Exempt Native Specimens.

Examples:Black coral, orchids and ivory products.
Permits issued by: Minister for the Environment
More information: For more information on CITES and the species covered by the Convention and a List of Exempt Native Specimens visit the Department of the Environment website.
Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

The Director
Wildlife Trade Regulation Section
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

Firearms, parts, accessories and ammunition (Commercial Exports)

Description: Firearms, including parts, accessories and ammunition, regardless of the type or calibre. Accessories include telescopic sights, magazines and cleaning equipment.
Permits issued by: Minister for Defence
More information:

For more information on the export of firearms and related goods visit the Department of Defence website.

Enquiries can be made on 1800 66 10 66 or by email.

Requests to export goods:

Applications to export these goods should be addressed to:

Defence Export Control Office
Department of Defence
R1-1-A038, Russell Offices
Canberra ACT 2600

Firearms, parts, accessories and ammunition (Personal Firearms)

Description:

Limited quantities of certain personal firearms, including parts, accessories and ammunition. Accessories include telescopic sights, magazines and cleaning equipment.

Permits issued by:

Delegates of the Minister for Defence

More information:

For more information on the export of limited quantities of certain firearms and related goods visit the Department of Defence website.

Enquiries: You can enquire with the Department of Defence on 1800 66 10 66 or email or contact us .
Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods can be made at any of our locations.

Hazardous waste

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 export goods:

Requests to export 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

Human blood and tissue

Description:

Human blood, organs, tissue and substance derived from human blood

Permits issued by:

Secretary to the Department of Health

No permit required: Human remains do not require a permit for export.
More information:

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

Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

Therapeutic Goods Administration
GPO Box 100
Woden ACT 2606
Telephone: 1800 678 799
Email: therapeuticproductsexport@tga.gov.au

Nuclear Material

Description: Uranium, thorium and fissionable materials including plutonium
Permits issued by: Minister for Industry
Requests to export goods:

For more information or to request permission to export this type of material contact:

Uranium Industry Section
Resources Division
Department of Industry
GPO Box 9839
Canberra ACT 2601
Email: uranium@ret.gov.au

Ozone depleting substances/Synthetic Greenhouse Gases (restricted exports)

Description: Chemicals including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), bromochloromethane (BCMs), methyl bromide and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
Export not allowed: You cannot export hydrobromfluorocarbons (HBFCs).
Permits issued by: Licences to export are issued by the Minister for the Environment under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.
More information:

For more information on 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 export goods:

Requests to export 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

Pornography and other objectionable material

Description:

Includes computer games, computer generated images, films, interactive games and publications 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 Board
More information: Contact us
Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to the Classification Branch.

The Director
Classification Board
Locked Bag 3
Haymarket NSW 1240

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

For more information visit the Australia Classification website.

The Classification Branch is unable to answer your questions via telephone about permission to export these goods. You need to submit your request to export these goods in writing by mail or email.

Precursor substances

Description:

Precursor substances as listed in the regulations. Precursors can be converted in to other substances that have the potential to be abused and are therefore a public health concern.

Permits issued by:

Secretary of the Department of Health

More information:

For more information on substances controlled under customs legislation, licensing and permit requirements visit the Office of Chemical Safety website.

Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

The Drug Control Section
Scientific Evaluation and Special Product Access Branch
Therapeutic Goods Administration
PO Box 100
Woden ACT 2606
Telephone: +61 2 6289 2686
Fax: +61 2 6289 2500
Email: dcs@tga.gov.au

Prescription medicines

Description:

Prescription medicines that are financially subsidised by the Australian Government under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

If you are an Australian resident or eligible to receive Medicare benefits you can access the PBS. If you are an exporter, you can export a reasonable amount of PBS drugs overseas for the personal treatment of yourself or another person, such as a child or elderly relative, accompanying you.

Requests to export goods:

If you intend to export personal use PBS medicines out of Australia you should complete a 'PBS Medicine Export Declaration', which is available from the Health Insurance Commission.

More information:

For more information on prescription medicines subsidised under the PBS visit the Medicare Australia website or call 1800 500 147.

Radioactive Sources

Description:

High activity radioactive sources

Permits issued by:

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

More information:

For more information or to seek permission to export this type of material, contact:

Export Permits Officer
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Officer
PO Box 655
Miranda NSW 1490

Phone: + 61 2 9541 8340
Fax: + 61 2 9541 8314
Email: export@arpansa.gov.au
Website: Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency website.

Radioactive waste

Description:

Export of radioactive waste to Pacific Island Developing Countries

Permits issued by:

Minister for Industry

Requests to export goods:

For more information or to seek permission to export this type of material, contact:

Uranium Industry Section
Resources Division
Department of Industry
GPO Box 9839
Canberra ACT 2601
Email: uranium@ret.gov.au

Sanctioned Countries/Entities

Australia implements United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions regimes and Australian autonomous sanctions regimes.  Australia is obliged to implement UNSC sanctions regimes as a matter of international law.  In addition, the Australian Government has decided to implement Australian autonomous sanctions regimes as a matter of Australian foreign policy.  Australian autonomous sanctions regimes may supplement UNSC sanctions regimes, or be separate from them. Sanctions impose restrictions on activities, including exports, which relate to particular countries, goods and services, or persons and entities.

For detailed information on Australia’s sanctions regimes please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

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

More information:

For more information on SSAN and permit requirements visit these websites:

Suicide devices (prohibited export)

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.

Exports not allowed: Exports are not allowed under any circumstances.
More information: Contact us

Toothfish

Description:

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 on the restrictions on the export of toothfish visit the Department of Agriculture website.

Requests to export goods:

Requests to export 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

Wine and brandy

Description:

Consignments of wine, brandy, grape spirit and wine derived products over 100 litres.

Permits issued by:

Wine Australia

More information:

For more information on exporting wine and brandy products visit the Wine Australia website.

Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

Wine Australia
PO Box 2733
Kent Town Business Centre
Kent Town SA 5071

Telephone: +61 8 8228 2000
Customer Service Line: +61 8 8228 2010
Fax: +61 8 8228 2022
Email: compliance@wineaustralia.com

Resources

All the information from this section is available to download.
Export control manual - Vol 12 (2MB)