Importing soft air (BB) firearms

The importation of soft air (BB) firearms is controlled under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956. Importers must obtain permission prior to bringing these goods into Australia.

Obtaining permission to import

Police certification

Soft air rifles and handguns can be imported into Australia with police certification. The certification for the importation of soft air rifles is the B709A Importation of Firearms – Police Confirmation and Certification form, and for soft air handguns is the B709D - Category H – Police Confirmation and Certification form.

Firearm dealers can also use a B709DA - Ongoing Importation by Firearms Dealer – Police Confirmation form and provide the make, model and serial number information of the firearms at the time of importation.

The original B709A or B709D form, or a copy of the B709DA form, must be presented to the Australian Border Force (ABF) at the time of importation.

To obtain permission to import in the form of a B709A form, or a B709D form, you will need to contact your state or territory police firearms and weapons registry.

Attorney-General's Department

Police certification does not apply to soft air firearms with the following characteristics:

  • the firearm has a fully automatic capability
  • the appearance of the firearm is substantially the same as a fully automatic firearm
  • a firearm accessory is attached or is integral to the firearm.

To import these types of soft air firearms, written permission must be obtained from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department prior to their importation.

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

Contact details

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

Ammunition

Ammunition for use with soft air (BB) firearms, such as plastic pellets, also requires police certification or Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department permission to be imported.

When ammunition is being imported with the firearms, the ammunition can be listed on the same import document as the firearms.

See Importing ammunition, magazines and magazine extension devices for further information.

Additional requirements

Soft air (BB) firearms are also subject to safety testing and unique serial number requirements.

Safety testing

The ABF will undertake safety testing of imported firearms unless exemptions apply.

Safety testing requirements do not apply to a firearm that:

  • was manufactured before 1 January 1900
  • is designed or adapted for competition target shooting
  • was previously exported from Australia and the importer can produce the export permit
  • is being imported temporarily for a lawful competition or hunting activity
  • is being imported for official or specified purposes
  • has been deactivated.

Unique serial number

All firearms being imported into Australia must have a unique serial number unless they were manufactured before 1 January 1900.

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 soft air (BB) firearms

Soft air (BB) firearms are not controlled on export out of Australia except in special circumstances. More information about Defence Export Controls is available on the Department of Defence website.