Importing ammunition, magazines and magazine extension devices

The importation of ammunition (including components) and magazines is controlled under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (the Regulations). Importers must obtain permission to bring ammunition and magazines into Australia.

Ammunition and components of ammunition

To import ammunition and components of ammunition into Australia, importers must obtain prior to importation either of the following;

  • written certification of the police firearms or weapons registry in their State or Territory, or
  • written permission to import from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department, or
  • written permission to import from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection prior to importation.

Ammunition for use with firearms, also known as rounds, bullets, and cartridges, is controlled under the Regulations. This includes ammunition for paintball markers, soft air (BB) pellets as well as ball or shot projectiles for muzzle-loading firearms.

Components of ammunition include projectiles, cartridge casings, whether new or spent, and primers designed or adapted for use in ammunition are also controlled under the Regulations and require permission to import prior to importation. 

Police certification

To import general purpose ammunition and components into Australia, the police certification will be in the form of a B709A Importation of Firearms – Police Confirmation and Certification Form.

Firearms dealers can also use a B709DA Form – Ongoing Importation by Firearms Dealer Police Confirmation and details of the goods to clear the consignment.

The original B709A Form must be presented to Department of Immigration and Border Protection at the time of importation.

Note: the above information does not apply to specialised ammunition (and components) such as the following:

  • tracer
  • frangible
  • explosive
  • incendiary
  • armour piercing
  • penetrator
  • Saboted Light Armour Piercing (SLAP)
  • flechette
  • handgun ammunition that is designed, advertised or capable of defeating soft body armour or opaque, glazed or bullet resistant material
  • electro-shock cartridge
  • large calibre armament.

To import these types of ammunition (other than large calibre armament), written permission to import must be obtained from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department prior to importation.

To import large calibre armament, written permission to import must be obtained from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection prior to importation.

Firearm magazines

To import firearm magazines into Australia, importers must first obtain written certification from the police firearms or weapons registry in their State or Territory, or written permission to import from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department prior to importation.

A firearm magazine body is also considered a magazine for the purposes of the Regulations.

Police certification

To import firearm magazines into Australia, the police certification will be in the form of a B709A Importation of Firearms – Police Confirmation and Certification Form.

Firearms dealers can also use a B709DA Form – Ongoing Importation by Firearms Dealer Police Confirmation and details of the goods to clear the consignment.

To import handgun magazines into Australia, the police certification will be in the form of a B709D Importation of Firearms – Police Confirmation and Certification Form.

Handgun magazines imported by sports shooters are limited to a maximum capacity of 10 rounds. See the importing handguns fact sheet for further information on this restriction.

The original B709A Form, or B709D Form, must be presented to Department of Immigration and Border Protection at the time of importation.

Firearms Dealers can instead present a copy of their B709DA as well as make, model and serial number information at the time of importation.

Note: Police certification does not apply to the following firearm magazines:

  • detachable firearm magazine with a capacity of more than five (5) rounds for a semi-automatic shotgun, pump-action shotgun or a fully automatic shotgun
  • detachable firearm magazine with a capacity of more than ten (10) rounds for a semi-automatic rim-fire rifle, semi-automatic centre-fire rifle, pump-action centre-fire rifle, lever-action centre-fire rifle, or a fully automatic firearm
  • detachable firearm magazine with a capacity of more than 15 rounds for a repeating action centre-fire rifle
  • A firearm magazine, having a capacity of more than five rounds, for lever-action shotguns.

To import these types of firearm magazines, written permission to import must be obtained from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department prior to importation. Permission to import may only be granted where the magazines are for specific purpose.

Firearm magazine extension devices

To import magazine extension devices that increase the capacity of integral, tubular or detachable box magazines into Australia, importers must first obtain written permission from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department.

Attorney-General's Department permission to import

Written permission to import must be obtained from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department where the importation of special purpose ammunition and components, and certain magazines, is for one of the following purposes:

  • for the purposes of the government of the Commonwealth, or the government of a State or Territory or foreign government (official purposes)
  • for repairs, modification, testing and training (specified purposes)
  • for the purposes of a government contract, certain project or tender (specified purposes)
  • for use in the production of a film (specified purposes)
  • for the purposes of a sanctioned activity (specified purposes)
  • for the purposes of research or development by a known research or development importer for firearms or related defence and law enforcement products and the article is being imported is for the completion of a project or tender (specified purposes)
  • for use by professional rural pest controllers (specified person)
  • for goods to be exported, or that have already been exported, and are returning to Australia (returned goods)
  • in exceptional circumstances (public and national interest tests).

Written permission from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department to import magazine extension devices can only be obtained for one of the following purposes

  • official purposes
  • specified purposes
  • returned goods.

The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department permission to import document must be presented to us at the time of importation.

Ministerial permission to import

Ammunition greater than 0.50" calibre (greater than 12.7 millimetre) for use with articles of warfare is controlled under Schedule 13 of the Regulations. To import these goods into Australia, importers must obtain written permission to import from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

This does not include ammunition for firearms such as shotguns or black powder firearms and certain hunting rifles. See the Import and Export Controls on Weapons fact sheet for further information about these goods.

Obtaining permission to import

To obtain permission to import in the form of a B709A,  B709D or B709DA Form, you will need to contact your State or Territory Police firearms and weapons registry.

To obtain permission to import from the Attorney-General’s Department, you will need to contact them directly.

To obtain permission to import from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, you will need to contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Contact details of the police firearms and weapon registries and the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department are available at Firearms and weapons.

Penalties

The maximum penalty for importing these goods without the relevant import permission is a penalty not exceeding $450,000, imprisonment for 10 years, or both.

Exporting ammunition and firearm magazines

To export ammunition and firearm magazines see the information available on the Defence Export Control Office website.