Importing soft air (BB) firearms

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

Importing soft air (BB) firearms

To import soft air (BB) firearms 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. 

Police certification

To import soft air (BB) rifles into Australia, police certification in the form of a B709A Form - Importation of Firearms – Police Confirmation and Certification Form is required. This form is issued by your State or Territory Police Service.

To import soft air (BB) handguns into Australia, police certification in the form of a B709D Form - Importation of Firearms – Police Confirmation and Certification Form is required.

Dealers can obtain a B709DA – Ongoing Importation by Firearms Dealer Police Confirmation and details of the goods to clear the consignment. This form is issued by your State or Territory Police Service.

The original B709A Form, or B709D Form, must be presented to the 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.

You must also meet the additional requirements listed below.

Note: Police certification does not apply to soft air (BB) firearms with the following characteristics:

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

To import these types of firearms, written permission to import must be obtained from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department prior to their importation. Permission to import can only be granted where the firearms are for specific purposes.

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 soft air firearms, including soft air (BB) rifles and soft air (BB) handguns, is for 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 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.

The Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department permission to import document must be presented to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection at the time of importation.

You must also meet the additional requirements listed below.

Ammunition

Ammunition for use with soft air (BB) firearms, such as plastic pellets, also requires police certification or 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

All firearms being imported into Australia must undergo safety testing. Safety testing is performed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

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.

Obtaining permission to import

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.

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

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 soft air (BB) firearms

Soft air (BB) firearms are not controlled on export out of Australia.