Importing weapons - Dealer test

The Customs (Prohibited Import) Regulations 1956 (the Regulations) provide a list of goods that are controlled on importation into Australia.

To import certain weapons into Australia, prior written permission from the Minister, or an authorised officer, is required. Applications for permission to import will only be considered when the weapons being imported comply with a legislated test.

One of the tests applicable to certain weapons is the dealer test. This test is applicable for goods being imported for sale to the Australian Government, a state or a territory government, a person with a contract for the sale of the goods in force with such a government or a certified buyer.

Note: Where the importation is for the purposes of supply to the Australian Government, or a state or territory government and there is a Contract or Purchase Order in place, an application should be made under the official purposes test.

Goods applicable to the test

The dealer test is applicable to most weapons listed within Schedule 13 of the Regulations.

How to apply

All applications must be made in writing using a B710 Form — Application for Permission to Import Schedule 13 Weapons (443KB PDF). Standard permits are valid for six months from the date of signature and for one importation only.

Applications must be made before the importation of the goods. The assessment process takes approximately four weeks from receipt by the processing office and could be extended if additional information is required or the application is considered incomplete.

You must also provide supporting documents with your application to demonstrate that the importation satisfies the dealer test.

Lodgement of an application does not guarantee permission to import will be granted and goods should not be sent to Australia until notified of the approval in writing. Goods that are imported without a valid permit might be subject to seizure and/or disposal and the importer might face prosecution.

Required supporting documents / import conditions

You must provide a copy of a licence or authorisation that demonstrates the importer is authorised to possess, use and/or deal in the goods for the importer's intended use in accordance with the law of the state or territory in which the goods are to be used if required.

Applications submitted without all required supporting documents will not be processed.

Certified buyer

A person is a certified buyer if the Minister, or an authorised person, is satisfied that:

  • the person intends to buy the good from a person who is licensed to deal with the goods
  • the good is for the purposes of the Australian Government, or a state or territory government
  • the government will retain ownership of the good after buying it.

The Australian Government and the state and territory governments are currently certified buyers.

Any buyers who want to become certified buyers for the purposes of the dealer test must make an application in writing. The application must include evidence that the importer is a government supplier, which can include supply history.

Ongoing permits

Regular and high volume commercial importers can request ongoing permission to import to allow the use of one permit for multiple importations for a specified period. 

A supporting letter indicating the reason for requiring an ongoing permission must be submitted with an application and all relevant supporting documents listed in this fact sheet.

Ongoing permits might have additional conditions listed, including quarterly or ad hoc reporting requirements.

Assessment

We can investigate the importers history as part of the application process. Previous instances of non-compliance with import requirements might result in permission to import or ongoing permission to import being refused.

The information provided in your application will be verified with the appropriate end user and any inconsistencies identified can be subject to investigation and subsequent legal action. Making a false or misleading statement to our officer is an offence under Section 234(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1901.