Importing weapons - Returned goods test

The Customs (Prohibited Imports) 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 returned goods test. This test is applicable for goods being imported that have been previously exported from Australia.

Goods applicable to the test

The specified purposes test is applicable to all 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 (6) months from the date of signature and for one (1) importation only.

Applications must be made prior to the importation of the goods. The assessment process takes approximately four (4) weeks from receipt by the processing office and may be extended if additional information is required or the application is considered incomplete.

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

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

Required supporting documents / import conditions

You must provide the following supporting documents with your application:

  • a certified copy of a licence or authorisation that demonstrates the importer is authorised to possess 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
  • evidence that the goods have been legally exported out of Australia. If the goods were subject to export permit requirements, a copy of the export permit is also required
  • a declaration stating that no modifications have been made to the goods or, if the goods have been deactivated prior to export, that the goods have not been reactivated.

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

Ongoing permits

Regular and high volume commercial importers of goods for the purposes of the government of the Commonwealth, State or Territory may 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 is required to be submitted with an application in addition to the supporting documents listed in this fact sheet.

Ongoing permits may have additional conditions listed within, such as quarterly or ad hoc reporting requirements.

Assessment

Applications must be made prior to the importation of the goods. It is recommended that import permission should be organised before exportation of goods when the intention to re-import is known at that time.

The assessment process takes approximately four weeks from receipt by the processing office and might be extended if additional information is required or the application is considered incomplete.

We might investigate the importer's history as part of the application process. Previous instances of non-compliance with import and export requirements might result in permission to import being refused.