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 before bringing 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, one of the following;

  • written certification from the police firearms or weapons registry in their state or territory
  • written permission to import from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department
  • written permission to import from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (large calibre ammunition only).

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. 

Police certification

General purpose ammunition can be imported into Australia under police certification. This will be a B709A - Importation of Firearms – Police Confirmation and Certification form.

Firearm dealers can also use a B709DA - Ongoing Importation by Firearms Dealer – Police Confirmation form.

The original B709A form, or a copy of the B709DA form as well as make, model and serial number, must be presented to the Australian Border Force (ABF) at the time of importation.

Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department

Police certification 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.

Ministerial permission to import

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

Firearm magazines

To import firearm magazines into Australia, importers must obtain permission prior to importation. A firearm magazine body is considered a magazine.

Police certification

Police certification is sufficient to import most firearm magazines into Australia. This certification will be a B709A form. Forms can be obtained from your state or territory police firearms and weapons registry.

Firearms dealers can also use a B709DA form and provide details of the goods at the time of importation.

To import handgun magazines into Australia, police certification will be a B709D form.

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

Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department

Permission to import the following goods must be obtained by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department:

  • detachable firearm magazines with a capacity of more than five rounds for a semi-automatic shotgun, pump-action shotguns or a fully automatic shotguns
  • detachable firearm magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds for a semi-automatic rimfire rifle, semi-automatic centre fire rifle, pump-action centre fire rifle, lever-action centre fire rifle, or a fully automatic firearm
  • detachable firearm magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds for a repeating action centre fire rifle
  • magazines of more than 10 rounds (including handgun magazines) that can fit and function in a fully-automatic firearm
  • magazine extension devices that increase the capacity of integral, tubular or detachable box magazines.

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

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 Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, you will need to contact them directly.

Ministerial permission to import

Permission to import ammunition for use with large calibre weapons controlled under Schedule 13 of the Regulations is required from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection prior to import.

Contact details

Contact details of the police firearms and weapon registries, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and the ABF are available on Firearms and weapons page.

Penalties

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

Exporting ammunition and firearm magazines

To export ammunition and firearm magazines see the information about Defence Export Controls on the Department of Defence website.

More information

See Firearms and weapons for more information about importing weapons.