Businesses, Agents and Trade Professionals

Exporting prohibited and restricted goods

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See also: prohibited and restricted imports

 

The Australian Government controls the export of certain goods from Australia. The controls include:

  • an absolute prohibition, where you are not allowed to export the goods in any circumstances, or
  • a restriction, where you need to have written permission in order to export the goods.

This website provides general guidance only on export control. It describes:

  • goods that are prohibited or restricted
  • where to send a request to export your goods
  • where to obtain more information.

For detailed information about the regulatory requirements for exporting your product, you should contact the appropriate authority before you start the export process. As an exporter, you are responsible for ensuring your goods meet the relevant requirements.

Asbestos (restricted export)

Description:

Asbestos refers to any of the following fibrous forms of mineral silicates from the serpentine group - chrysotile (white asbestos) and amphibole group - actinolite asbestos; amosite (brown and grey asbestos), anthophyllite asbestos, crocidolite (blue asbestos), tremolite asbestos.

The exportation of asbestos and goods containing asbestos is prohibited unless:

an exception applies:

  • the goods are considered to be hazardous waste as defined in section 4 of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 (HW Act). Goods of this type must be exported in accordance with the Act; or
  • the goods are raw materials containing naturally occurring traces of asbestos.

an exemption has been granted:

  • a state or territory authorises the export in accordance with subregulation (3); or
  • an exemption has been granted by the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.

a permission to export has been granted:

  • export permission has been granted by the Minister for Employment.

Certain goods that contain asbestos and that are incorporated into other goods in a way that does not constitute a risk to users until the asbestos in the goods is disturbed, can be exported. Assurance must be provided at the border.

Permits/ exemptions issued by:

The following authorities can issue an exemption or permit in certain circumstances:

  • The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission
  • A state/territory WorkCover or SafeWork authority
  • The Minister for Employment through the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency by email at enquiries@asbestossafety.gov.au.

Detailed information regarding the border controls for asbestos and asbestos-risk goods is available on the Asbestos information page.

More information:

For information regarding export permits or Australia's domestic control of asbestos, contact the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency
Telephone: 1300 326 148
Email: enquiries@asbestossafety.gov.au
Website: www.asbestossafety.gov.au

For more information about the domestic controls underpinning this regulation visit the SafeWork Australia website.

Biological agents

Description: Certain biological agents and equipment that could be used in weapons of mass destruction programs, including equipment, facilities, technologies and materials that have a valid civil application but may be diverted for use in weapon of mass destruction programmes.
Permits issued by: Minister for Defence
More information: A full listing of controlled agents and equipment is included on the Defence and Strategic Goods List. For more information on controlled agents and equipment visit the Defence Export Control Office website. Enquiries can be made on 1800 66 10 66 or by email.
Requests to export goods: Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:
Defence Export Control Office
Department of Defence
R1-1-A038, Russell Offices
Canberra ACT 2600

Cat and dog fur (restricted export)

Description: Cat and dog fur includes raw, tanned or processed furs or pelts, and goods that may contain such fur, that are derived from the species:
  • Felis catus
  • Canis familiaris

These species are commonly known as domestic cats and dogs.

Permits issued by: Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
More information: Contact us
Requests to export goods: Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:
Assistant Secretary
Trade Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616

Certain chemical compounds (restricted export)

Description: Certain chemicals, including those covered by the Chemical Weapons Convention, and related equipment, facilities, technologies and materials which have a legitimate commercial purpose may also be used in the development or production of weapons of mass destruction.
More information and requests to export: Controlled chemicals and related equipment are listed on the Defence and Strategic Goods List. For more information on the export of certain chemical compounds visit the Defence Export Control Controlds website under the Department of Defence.

Credit cards – counterfeit (restricted export)

Description:

Counterfeit credit, debit or charge cards.

Permits issued by: The Minister administering the Australian Federal Police Act 1979.
Requests to export goods: Requests to export these goods should be addressed to the Coordinator Operations Monitoring Centre (OMC) in your state or territory. See: Australian Federal Police (AFP) national list of OMC contacts.

Cultural and heritage goods (restricted export)

Description: Australian cultural and heritage goods are any object listed on the National Cultural Heritage Control List.
Prohibited exports: Objects listed as Class A are prohibited exports and cannot be exported under any circumstances.
Permitted exports: Objects listed as Class B can be exported if a permit is granted.
Permits issued by: Minister for Communications and the Arts
More information: For more information on the export of 'Australian protected objects' visit the Department of Communications and the Arts website.
Requests to export goods: Requests to export Class B goods should be addressed to:
Cultural Property Section
Ministry for the Arts
Department of Communications and the Arts
GPO Box 803
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6210 2929

Defence and Strategic Goods (restricted export)

Description: Goods included on the Defence and Strategic Goods List. (DSGL) The DSGL covers defence and related goods as well as dual use goods and technologies that have a valid commercial application, and may also be used in the development and deployment of military systems or weapons of mass destruction programs.
More information and request to export: The Department of Defence administers export permits for DSGL goods. Further information about exporting these goods can be found on the Defence Export Controls website under the Department of Defence.

Goods that are exported to a sanctioned country or entity may also require permission from the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Permission is required to export certain goods from Australia to a sanctioned country or entity. These permits are administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Online Sanctions Administration System. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can be contacted at sanctions@dfat.gov.au.

Rough diamonds - Kimberley Process (restricted export)

Description:

Rough diamonds are diamonds that are unworked, or have simply been sawn, bruted or roughly shaped. They can only be exported to a country participating in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, and must be accompanied by an Australian Kimberley Process Certificate.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science

More information:

For more information on the Kimberley Process for trade in rough diamonds visit the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science website and search for 'diamond export' on the Kimberley Process website.

Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

Minerals Section
Coal and Minerals Productivity Branch, Resource Division
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
GPO Box 9839
Canberra City ACT 2601

Email: kp.export.australia@industry.gov.au

Drugs (restricted export)

Description:

Narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, including a chemical or compound and a plant or a part of a plant, and anabolic and androgenic substances.

Exemptions:

If you are a passenger departing on board a ship or aircraft may not need a permit for certain drugs if:

  • the drugs are required for your own medical treatment or the treatment of another passenger or animal under your care
  • the drugs have been prescribed by a medical practitioner or veterinarian and the original prescription can be presented upon departure, and
  • the amount of drug(s) is supplied in accordance with the prescription
  • the drugs are carried in your accompanied baggage.

The exemption does not apply to anabolic/androgenic substances (e.g. testosterone, DHEA).

Any drugs exported by other means such as post or air cargo may require a permit.

More information and requests to export: For more information and requests to export visit the Office of Drug Control.

Endangered animal and plant species – CITES (restricted export)

Description:

Endangered animal and plant species include Australian native animals and plants and all products manufactured from those species, including some medicinal products, listed in the appendices to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Animals and plants that are described in the List of Exempt Native Specimens can be exported without a permit.

Permits issued by: Minister for the Environment and Energy
More information: For more information on CITES and the species covered by the Convention and a List of Exempt Native Specimens visit the Department of the Environment and Energy website.
Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

The Director
Wildlife Trade Regulation Section
Department of the Environment and Energy
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6274 1900
Fax: +61 2 6274 1921
Email: wildlifetrade@environment.gov.au

Firearms and firearms parts, accessories and ammunition (restricted export)

Description:

Firearms, firearm parts, accessories and ammunition of any type or calibre. Accessories include telescopic sights, magazines and cleaning equipment.

To export an item subject to these controls, exporters must first obtain authorisation from a delegated officer of the Australian Government.

Replica firearms, paintball firearms and air-soft (BB) firearms do not require authorisation to export. However, they are subject to import controls on re-imported into Australia and may be subject to import controls in other countries.

More information and requests to export:

Some firearms and ammunition can be exported with permission obtained through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Further information on the export of firearms is available.
See: Australian residents travelling overseas with firearms.

For all other firearms, parts and ammunition, permission to export is administered by the Department of Defence. Further information about exporting these goods can be found on the Defence Export Controls website under the Department of Defence.

Hazardous waste (restricted export)

Description:

The exportation of hazardous waste is regulated under the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 (the Act). The Department of Environment and Energy is responsible for the implementation and administration of the Act, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection enforces the controls at the border.

Hazardous waste has characteristics that are:

  • explosive
  • flammable
  • poisonous
  • toxic
  • ecotoxin
  • infectious.

Waste that has one or more of these characteristics and is listed below, is considered hazardous waste:

  • clinical wastes
  • waste oils/water
  • waste from resins, latex, plasticizers or glues/adhesives
  • waste from surface treatment of metals and plastics
  • waste containing copper, zinc, cadmium, mercury, lead or asbestos
  • residue arising from industrial waste disposal operations
  • waste residue from manufacture
  • household waste
  • residue arising from the incineration of household waste.
Permits issued by:

Minister for the Environment and Energy

More information:

An Australian Guide to Exporting and Importing Hazardous Wastes: Applying for a Permit is available.

Requests to export goods:

Hazardous Waste Section
Department of the Environment and Energy
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: 1800 803 772
Email: hwa@environment.gov.au

Human blood and tissue (restricted export)

Description:

Human blood and tissue also includes organs and substances derived from human blood and tissue.

Human remains can be exported without a permit.

More information and Requests to export:

The Therapeutic Goods Administration administers export permits for human blood and tissue. Further information on exporting these substances can be found at Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Nuclear Material

Description: Uranium, thorium and fissionable materials including plutonium.
More information and requests to export:

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science administers export permits for nuclear material. Further information on exporting uranium can be found at Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Ozone depleting substances/Synthetic Greenhouse Gases (restricted exports)

Description: Chemicals including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), bromochloromethane (BCMs), methyl bromide and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
Export not allowed: You cannot export hydrobromfluorocarbons (HBFCs).
Permits issued by: Licences to export are issued by the Minister for the Environment under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.
More information:

For more information on Australia's ozone protection requirements visit the Department of the Environment website.

A fact sheet on Importing and Exporting Synthetic Greenhouse Gas and Ozone Depleting Substances is available.

Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

Ozone and Synthetic Gas Team
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6274 1373
Fax: +61 2 6274 1610
Email: ozone@environment.gov.au

Pornography and other objectionable material

Description:

Includes computer games, computer generated images, films, interactive games and publications that describe, depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime cruelty, violence, terrorist acts or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults.

Requests to export goods:

For more information on the restrictions placed on the export of objectionable material, please visit the Department of Communications and the Arts’ Australian Classification website.

Precursor substances (restricted export)

Description:

Precursor substances as listed in the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 are controlled on export from Australia. Precursors are substances that can be converted into other substances that have the potential to be abused.

More information and requests to export:

The Department of Health administers export permits for precursor substances. Further information on the export of these substances can be found at the Office of Drug control.

Prescription medicines (restricted export)

Description:

Prescription medicines that are financially subsidised by the Australian Government under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

If you are an Australian resident or eligible to receive Medicare benefits you can access the PBS. If you are an exporter, you can export a reasonable amount of PBS drugs overseas for the personal treatment of yourself or another person, such as a child or elderly relative, accompanying you.

More information and requests to export:

If you intend to export personal use PBS medicines out of Australia, complete a 'PBS Medicine Export Declaration', which is available from the Department of Human Services website. Further information about exporting PBS medication is available on that website, or call call 1800 500 147.

Radioactive Sources (restricted export)

Description:

High activity radioactive sources

More information and requests for export:

Contact the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Officer
Website: Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
Email: export@arpansa.gov.au.

Sanctioned Exports (restricted export)

Description:

Where the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) determines the existence of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or an act of aggression, it decides on certain measures that should be taken to maintain or restore international peace and security. The measures that do not involve the use of armed force are known as sanctions. Members of the United Nations are legally bound to carry out those measures.

The Australian Government may also impose autonomous sanctions as a foreign policy response to situations of international concern. In some cases, autonomous sanctions may be used to supplement UNSC sanctions.

More information and request for export:

Further information on countries subject to sanctions can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website.

Permission is required to export certain goods from Australia to a sanctioned country or entity. These permits are administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Online Sanctions Administration System. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can be contacted at sanctions@dfat.gov.au.

Security Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate (SSAN) (restricted export)

Description:

Security Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate (SSAN) is defined as:

  • ammonium nitrate, or
  • an emulsion of ammonium nitrate that is made up of more than 45 per cent ammonium nitrate, and
  • a mixture of ammonium nitrate that is made up of more than 45 per cent ammonium nitrate but does not include a solution of ammonium nitrate. A solution of ammonium nitrate is ammonium nitrate dissolved in water.
Requests to export:

Visit the relevant state or territory regulator.

More information:

Further information can be found at:

Suicide devices (prohibited export)

Description:

Devices designed or customised to be used by a person to commit suicide, or to be used by a person to assist another person to commit suicide.

Requests to export: Suicide devices are prohibited from exportation; permission to export them will not be granted under any circumstances.

Toothfish

Description:

Antarctic Toothfish and Patagonian Toothfish found in sub-Antarctic waters, including waters around Australia's external territory of Heard and McDonald Islands. Applies to all fish and fish parts of this species whether fresh, frozen, smoked, preserved in airtight containers or in any other form.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Agriculture

More information:

For more information on the restrictions on the export of toothfish visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

Australian Fisheries Management Authority
PO Box 7051
Canberra Business Centre
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: 1300 723 621
Fax: +61 2 6272 5784

Wine and brandy

Description:

Consignments of wine, brandy, grape spirit and wine derived products over 100 litres.

Permits issued by:

Wine Australia

More information:

For more information on exporting wine and brandy products visit the Wine Australia website.

Requests to export goods:

Requests to export these goods should be addressed to:

Wine Australia
PO Box 2733
Kent Town Business Centre
Kent Town SA 5071

Telephone: +61 8 8228 2000
Customer Service Line: +61 8 8228 2010
Fax: +61 8 8228 2022
Email: compliance@wineaustralia.com

Resources

All the information from this section is available to download.
Export control manual - Vol 12 (2MB)