Importing prohibited and restricted goods

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See also: prohibited and restricted exports

 

The Australian Government controls the import of certain goods into Australia. The controls include:

 
  • an absolute prohibition referred as prohibited import, where you are not allowed to import the goods, or
  • a restriction referred as restricted import, where you need to have written permission in order to import the goods.

The following information outlines:

  • what goods are prohibited or restricted
  • where you can obtain more information about the control
  • contact details to seek permission to import restricted goods under certain circumstances
  • conditions applicable to restricted import goods.

The information about prohibited and restricted goods provided on this website only aims to provide general guidance. Importers are responsible for ensuring goods can be imported and for providing adequate assurance at the border that the goods being imported meet regulatory requirements. Seek more information from the appropriate authority to ensure that you comply with Australian law before attempting to import restricted goods.

Anabolic or androgenic substances (restricted import)

Description:

Anabolic and Androgenic substances, also known as steroids, can be dangerous to health if abused or not taken with medical supervision to treat a specific medical condition. Certain health supplements that claim to enhance muscle and bone growth may contain anabolic or androgenic substances.

More information and requests to import:

For more information about the licensing and import permit requirements of these substances, visit the Office of Drug Control.


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Antibiotics (restricted import)

Description:

Antibiotics such as penicillin, tetracyclines and other substances including the sulpha drugs, nitrofurazones, dapsone and rifampicin. Antibiotics do not include anti-viral medicaments.

Exemptions:

You do not need a permit if you are a passenger on a ship or aircraft and you:

  • carry a copy of your prescription or a letter (written in English) from your medical practitioner as evidence that the medicine is required as part of your medical treatment
  • carry no more than three months’ supply at the maximum recommended dosage for your personal use, or a person under your care;
  • carry the medicine in your accompanied baggage

These exemptions apply only to passengers. Any amount of controlled drugs imported by other means, such as post or air cargo, requires a permit.

More information and requests to import:

For more information visit the Office of Drug Control.


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ANZAC (restricted import)

Description:

All goods bearing the word 'ANZAC' (or a similar word) and advertising material relating to such goods.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Veterans' Affairs

More information:

For more information about the protection of the word 'ANZAC' visit the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone enquiries should be directed to:

Commemorations Branch
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Telephone: +61 2 6289 6067


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Asbestos (restricted import)

Description:

Asbestos means 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 importation to Australia of, asbestos, or goods containing asbestos, is prohibited unless:

An exception applies:

  • the asbestos or goods containing asbestos are 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 imported in accordance with the provisions of the HW Act, or
  • the goods are raw materials containing naturally occurring traces of asbestos, or
  • if the importation is of a ship or resources installation of at least 150 gross tonnage, as shown by the International Tonnage Certificate (1969) for the ship or resources installation; and the amphibole asbestos in the ship or resources installation was fixed and installed before 1 January 2005; and the amphibole asbestos in the ship or resources installation will not be a risk to any person unless the amphibole asbestos is disturbed, or
  • the asbestos or goods are imported from the Australian Antarctic Territory (chrysotile only).

A permission to import has been granted:

  • Import permission has been granted by the Minister for Employment

An exemption has been granted:

  • an authority of a state or territory confirms that the proposed use meets the state or territory work health and safety law, (chrysotile only), or
  • an exemption has been granted by the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, or the Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority.

Permits/exemptions issued by:

Authorities that can issue an exemption/permit in certain circumstances:

  • The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (chrysotile only)
  • A State or Territory WorkCover authority (chrysotile only)
  • The Minister for Employment through the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency by email at enquiries@asbestossafety.gov.au.

More information:

Detailed information regarding the border controls for asbestos, asbestos risk goods, and how goods containing asbestos are processed at the border is also available at the asbestos information page.

For enquiries regarding import permits or more information about Australia's control see: Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency
Phone: 1300 326 148
Email: enquiries@asbestossafety.gov.au.

Further information on the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 .

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


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Cat and dog fur products (restricted import)

Description:

The goods covered by this control include raw, tanned or processed furs or pelts, and goods that may contain such fur, that are derived from the cat and dog species listed below. These species are more commonly referred to as domestic cat and dog breeds.

  • Cat fur - the pelt or hair of an animal of the species Felis catus.
  • Dog fur - the pelt or hair of an animal of the species Canis familiaris.
  • Cat or dog fur product - a product or other thing that consists, wholly or partly, of cat or dog fur.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

Fore more information contact us.

Requests to import goods:

Requests for permission to import these goods should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary
Trade & Customs Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616


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Ceramic ware - glazed (restricted import)

Description:

Glazed ceramic ware with lead or cadmium that exceeds acceptable release levels used for, or in connection with the storage or consumption of food. It includes glazed pottery/ceramics used for tableware and cooking but does not include decorative items manufactured solely for display on walls or stands.

No permit needed:

You do not need a permit to import these goods.

To certify that the goods comply with the regulation you need to obtain a testing certificate from the National Measurement Institute or a testing agency approved by the National Association of Testing Authorities Australia.

More information:

For more information contact us.


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Chemical weapons (restricted import)

Description:

Chemicals controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Permits issued by:

The Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

More information:

For more information about the Chemical Weapons Convention visit the Chemical Weapons Convention Office website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Director
Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Section
Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R.G. Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton ACT 0221

Telephone: +61 2 6261 1914 or +61 2 6261 1920
Fax: +61 2 6261 1908
Email: chemical.asno@dfat.gov.au


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Chewing tobacco and oral snuff (restricted import)

Description:

Chewing tobacco and oral snuff if imported in quantities greater than 1.5 kilograms.

Importing goods:

To import these goods you need to seek written permission from the Minister responsible for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.

More information:

Product Safety Hazard Response Branch
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
PO Box 3131
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6243 1064
Fax: +61 2 6243 1073

or contact us here.


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Cigarette lighters (restricted import)

Description:

Refillable lighters with a customs value of AUD$5 or less, disposable lighters and novelty lighters that have been designed to light cigarettes, cigars and pipes.

Importing goods:

Importers of cigarette lighters must provide the following documentation:

  • A statutory declaration stating that a certificate of compliance, within the meaning of the American Standard 16 CFR 1210, has been issued. You must obtain a certificate of compliance from the supplier or from an appropriately recognised overseas testing laboratory, as there are no suitable testing facilities currently available in Australia, or
  • written permission from the Minister responsible for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.
Exception:
You do not need permission to import up to five lighters where you are a passenger 18 years or older on a ship or aircraft entering Australia.

More information:

Product Safety Hazard Response Branch
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
PO Box 3131
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6243 1064

For more information contact us here.


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Cosmetics - toxic materials (restricted import)

Description:

Cosmetic products containing more than 250mg/kg of lead or lead compounds, except for products containing more than 250mg/kg of lead acetate designed for use in hair treatments.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

For more information contact us.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary
Trade & Customs Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616


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Credit cards - counterfeit (restricted import)

Description:

Counterfeit credit, debit or charge cards.

Permits issued by:

The Minister administering the Australian Federal Police Act 1979.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to the Coordinator Operations Monitoring Centre (OMC) in your relevant state or territory. Refer to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) national list of OMC contacts on the AFP website.


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Crowd control equipment (restricted import)

Description:

Anti-personnel sprays, body armour, extendable batons, electric shock devices and acoustic shock devices.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, or an authorised person, prior to the arrival of the goods in Australia.

More information or to request to import goods:

Contact the Restricted Goods Policy team at fwp@border.gov.au.


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Cultural heritage goods

Description:

Cultural heritage goods are known as cultural property and can be artistic, technological, historical or natural in origin. They are objects that people create or collect and forms an important part of a nation's identity.

Export permission from the country of origin may be required:

Permission to import overseas cultural heritage goods is not granted by the Australian Government.

Many countries have laws that regulate the export of cultural property. It may be illegal to export the goods from the country of origin without permission. Some foreign cultural property such as pottery, antiquities, artefacts, fossils and art may require a permit to be exported from their countries of origin. Without the correct permit issued from the country of origin, these objects could be treated as illegal exports and can be seized at the Australian border. You may also face prosecution under Australian law.

More information:

For more information about importing cultural heritage goods visit the Movable cultural heritage website.

Cultural Property Section
Ministry for the Arts
Department of Communications and the Arts
GPO Box 803
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6210 2929


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Cultural heritage goods from Papua New Guinea (restricted import)

Description:

Goods that are the national cultural property of Papua New Guinea such as objects connected with traditional cultural life, mineral specimens or fossil/animal remains of historic interest.

Permits issued by:

The permission of the Trustees of the Papua New Guinea Public Museum and Art Gallery is needed to export or remove the goods from Papua New Guinea.

More information:

For more information about importing cultural heritage goods visit the Department of Communications and the Arts.

Cultural Property Section
Ministry for the Arts                      
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600


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Rough Diamonds - Kimberley Process (restricted import)

Description:

Rough diamonds are defined as diamonds that are unworked, or simply sawn, bruted or roughly shaped. Rough diamonds can only be imported from a country participating in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, transported in a tamper proof container and must be accompanied by a Kimberley Process Certificate verifying the goods. The original Kimberley Process Certificate must be produced to the ABF at the border for verification. A formal import declaration must also be lodged for the importation regardless of value and method of transport.

Certificates issued by:

The relevant authority in the country exporting the goods to Australia.

More information:

For more information about the Kimberley Process for trade in rough diamonds and a list of contacts in exporting countries, visit the Kimberley Process website or contact us.


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Dog collars - protrusion (restricted import)

Description:

Dog collars designed to puncture or bruise an animal's skin.

Administered by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

For more information contact us.

Permit enquiries:

Permit enquiries should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary
Trade & Customs Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616


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Dogs - dangerous breeds (prohibited import)


Description:

Includes dogs of the following breeds:

  • dogo Argentino
  • fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese tosa
  • American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
  • Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario

The prohibition also covers advertising matter relating to the breeds.

Imports not allowed:
Imports are not allowed under any circumstances.

More information:

For more information contact us.

 

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Drugs and narcotics (restricted import)

Description:

Drugs being chemicals and compounds as listed in Schedule 4 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations, including:

  • isomers or mixture of isomers of a controlled chemicals or compounds
  • a derivative of a controlled chemical or compound, including isomers and mixtures of isomers
  • substances or things that contain controlled chemical/s or compound/s, including isomers and mixtures of isomers, and derivatives
  • other chemicals and compounds that are an immediate precursor to a controlled chemical or compound.
Exemptions:

You do not need a permit if you are a passenger on a ship or aircraft and you:

  • carry a copy of your prescription or a letter (written in English) from your medical practitioner as evidence that the medicine is required as part of your medical treatment
  • carry no more than three months’ supply at the maximum recommended dosage for your personal use, or a person under your care.
  • These exemptions apply only to passengers. Any amount of controlled drugs imported by other means, such as post or air cargo, requires a permit.

More information and requests to import goods:

For more information about substances controlled under customs legislation and licensing and permit requirements visit the Drug Control Section.

A fact sheet on importing barbiturates Pentobarbital /Nembutal is available.


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Endangered animal and plant species - CITES (restricted import)

Description:

Animal and plant species and all products manufactured from species listed in the appendices to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Permits issued by:

The import of species subject to CITES requires an export permit from the country of origin and an import permit issued by the Department of the Environment and Energy.

More information:

For more information about CITES and the species covered by the Convention visit the Department of the Environment and Energy website..

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

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


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Erasers - novelty (restricted import)

Description:

Erasers resembling food in scent or appearance.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

For more information contact us.

Address:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary
Trade & Customs Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616


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Explosives, plastic (restricted import)

Description:

Plastic explosives are explosives (including explosive products in flexible or elastic sheet form) that:

  • are formulated with:
    • one or more high explosives which in their pure form have a vapour pressure less than 10¯4 Pa at a temperature of 25°C
    • a binder material
  • as a mixture, malleable or flexible at normal room temperature.

The term 'plastic explosive' would have the same meaning as in new Subdivision B of Division 72 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

Requests to import:

Requests to import these goods should be made to the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department.

You will need to complete the Application Form and the Manufacturer’s Certificate at least six weeks before the goods are due to arrive in Australia.

If importing unmarked plastic explosives, you will also need to complete and submit an application for the authorisation to import these goods.

Existing State and Territory legislation on explosives:

Each state and territory has its own legislation governing the regulation of explosives, including plastic explosives. You must comply with the relevant state or territory law and obtain a licence or permit to import and use explosives in that state or territory.

Further information can be found at:

More information:

Visit the Attorney-General's Department website or contact that Department on (02) 6141 2915.


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Firearms and Ammunition (restricted import)

Description:

Firearms including BB guns and paintball markers, firearm parts, firearm accessories, firearm magazines, imitation firearms and ammunition.

Permits issued by:

The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department or state or territory Police (dependent on the firearm type) prior to the arrival of the goods into Australia.

Requests to import:

Depending on the firearm type, permission must be obtained from either:

More information:

Visit the Firearms and Weapons webpage or contact us.


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Fish and toothfish (restricted import)

Description:

Fish, or parts of fish, whether processed or not, taken in waters outside the Australian fishing zone by a foreign registered vessel and not landed prior at a port or place in a country outside Australia.

Toothfish - Antarctic Toothfish and Patagonian Toothfish are 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 and Water Resources through the Australian Fisheries Management Authority

More information:

For more information about restrictions on the import of fish and toothfish visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Australian Fisheries Management Authority
PO Box 7051
Canberra Business Centre
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: 1300 723 621


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Fly swatters/mosquito bats - electronic (restricted import)

Description:

Hand-held electric insect zappers that have no protection against accidental contact with the electrified grid and power source exceeding 6 volts.

Administered by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

For more information contact us.


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Goods bearing an image of the Australian state or territory flags and coat of arms (restricted import)

Description:

Items or merchandise (such as souvenirs) containing or which apply a representation of the coat of arms, a flag or a seal of a State or Territory of the Commonwealth. This includes a representation closely resembling the coat of arms, a flag or a seal a State or Territory of the Commonwealth that may be taken as a true 'national symbol'.

A similar control applies to the Royal Coat of Arms, which is the coat of arms of the British Sovereign. This does not include any coat of arms of any member of the Sovereign's family or any other royal person.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

The design and use of goods bearing a representation of the State or Territory symbols, must have approval from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, or Chief Minister and Cabinet in the relevant state or territory.

Once approved, import permission from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection must be granted prior to importing the goods.

Approving design and layout:

Requests to approve the design and layout of imported goods should be addressed to the Department of Premier and Cabinet, or Chief Minister and Cabinet in the relevant state or territory.

Ministerial import permission applications in writing, accompanied by the state or territory approval, should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary
Trade & Customs Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616


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Growth hormones and substances of human or animal origin (restricted import)

Description:

Drugs or products that are or include the following substances:

  • natural and manufactured gonadotrophins (including menotrophins, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone and human chorionic gonadotrophin)
  • natural and manufactured growth hormones, including somatropin, somatrem, somatomedins and insulin-like growth factors (not insulins) and growth hormone releasing hormone (somatorelin and synthetic analogues)
  • erythropoietin (EPO), or
  • arbepoetin alfa.
Exemptions:

You do not need a permit if you are a passenger on a ship or aircraft and you:

  • carry a copy of your prescription or a letter (written in English) from your medical practitioner as evidence that the medicine is required as part of your medical treatment;
  • carry no more than three months’ supply at the maximum recommended dosage for your personal use, or a person under your care;
  • carry the medicine in your accompanied baggage.

These exemptions apply only to passengers. Any amount of controlled drugs imported by other means, such as post or air cargo, requires a permit.

The exemption does not apply if a passenger is a:

  • sports competitor
  • person associated with a competitor such as a coach, manager or someone providing medical treatment.

More information and requests to import:

For more information about the permit requirements of these substances, visit the Office of Drug Control.


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Hazardous waste (restricted import)

Description:

The importation 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.

Permission to import, export or transit hazardous waste must be granted in writing, through the issuing of a valid permit by the Minister for the Environment and Energy prior to shipping.

Hazardous waste that arrives at the Australian border without a valid permit may be seized and the importer or exporter may be prosecuted.

Under the Act, and as defined by Annex III of the Basel Convention, hazardous waste characteristics include waste that are:

  • explosive,
  • flammable,
  • poisonous,
  • toxic,
  • ecotoxic, or
  • infectious substances.

Waste that has one or more characteristics defined under the Basel Convention and is captured in at least one of the following categories, as listed in Annex I of the Basel Convention is considered as hazardous waste. Waste categories under the Basel Convention include:

  • 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 import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

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


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Ice Pipes (restricted import)

Description:

An ice pipe is defined as a device that is capable of being used for administering methylamphetamine or any other drug controlled by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and used to draw or inhale smoke or fumes resulting from heating the drug in the device in a crystal, powder, oil or base form.

Items such as traditional shisha and hookah water pipes, tobacco pipes, laboratory equipment and glassware are not covered under this control.

More information:

For more information see:
Fact Sheet on the restrictions on importing ice pipes or Contact us.


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Incandescent lamps (restricted import)

Description:

The importation of incandescent lamps, also known as General Lighting Service (GLS) electric filament lamps, is prohibited under Regulation 4VA of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, unless permission to import has been granted.

Incandescent lamps for general lighting services must comply with the Australian Standard AS 4934.2-2011 Incandescent lamps for general lighting services Part 2: Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) requirements:

  • a shape described as any of the following:
    • A50 to A65
    • PS50 to PS65
    • M50 to M65
    • T50 to T65
    • E50 to E65
  • a cap described as E14, E26, E27, B15 or B22d
  • a nominal voltage of greater than or equal to 220 volts
  • a nominal wattage of less than 150 watts

Note: This does not include:

  • incandescent lamps that are imported as part of other equipment
  • primary coloured incandescent lamps not designed for general lighting
  • silvered incandescent lamps
  • candle lamps
  • fancy round lamps >25W, and
  • halogen or compact fluorescent lamps

Under certain limited circumstances, the relevant Minister may grant permission to import incandescent lamps. The valid permission to import must be produced to a Collector at the border.

Permits issued by:

The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science

More information:

For more information contact us.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Lighting and Equipment Energy Efficiency Team
Energy Efficiency Branch
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
GPO Box 9839
Canberra ACT 2601

Email: energyrating@industry.gov.au
Website: energyrating.gov.au


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Kava (restricted import)

Description:

A plant that is traditionally used for therapeutic and recreational purposes by certain cultures.

Exemptions:

You do not need a permit if you are aged 18 years or over and are a passenger on a ship or aircraft who is importing up to two kilograms of kava in either root or dried powder form in your accompanied baggage.

Any amount of kava imported by any other means such as post or air cargo, requires a permit. You cannot take kava into the Northern Territory or Western Australia.

More information and requests to import kava:

Permits will only be issued for scientific or medical purposes.

To import kava you must obtain the following from the Office of Drug Control:

  • Licence to Import Controlled Substances, and
  • Import permit for each consignment of kava.

For more information about importing kava visit the Office of Drug Control.


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Knives and daggers (restricted import)

Description:

Daggers, automatic knives, butterfly knives, trench knives, ballistic knives, concealed knives/blades, throwing knives/blades/axes, star knives, push knives, sheath knives, non-metallic knives.

Requests to import:

To import daggers and throwing knives, throwing blades or throwing axes you need written Police Certification (B709B or B709X Form) from the Police Firearms Registry in your state or territory.

To import the other knives listed in the Description section above, import permission is required from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

More information:

Visit the Firearms and Weapons webpage and your State or Territory police firearms and weapons registry:


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Laser pointers (restricted import)

Description:

Hand-held devices, known as laser pointers, designed or adapted to emit a laser beam with an accessible emission level greater than 1mW.

Permits issued by:

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection. State and Territory licencing conditions may apply.

More information:

Visit the Firearms and Weapons webpage and your State or Territory police firearms and weapons registry:


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Money boxes, novelty - toxic materials (restricted import)

Description:

Money boxes coated with a material that contains more than 90 mg/kg of lead.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

For more information contact us.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary
Trade & Customs Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616


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Ozone depleting substances/Synthetic Greenhouse Gases (restricted import)

Description:

The importation of Ozone Depleting Substances and Synthetic Greenhouse Gases (ODS and SGG) into Australia is controlled at the border under Regulation 5K of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (PI Regulations).

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the OPSGGM Act) restricts and regulates the manufacture, import and export of specified ODS and SGG. An importer or exporter of controlled substances must be licensed under the OPSGGM Act to import or export the controlled substances that are specified in the PI Regulations. There are some exemptions to this licence requirement.

ODS and SGG’s can include: chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride; methyl chloroform, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), bromochloromethane (BCMs), hydrbromfluorocarbons (HBFCs), methyl bromide (bromomethane) and sulfur hexafluoride.

ODS have a harmful and depleting effect on the ozone layer and are controlled by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. SGG generally have a high global warming potential and are listed under the Kyoto Protocol.

Permits issued by:

Licences to import are issued by the Minister for the Environment and Energy.

More information:

Further information on ODS and SGG equipment licensing, including exemptions for some low volume importers, can be located on the Department of the Environment and Energy website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

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


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Pencils or paintbrushes - toxic materials (restricted import)

Description:

Pencils or paintbrushes coated with a material that contains excess amounts of certain toxic compounds such as lead and arsenic.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

For more information contact us.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary
Trade & Customs Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616


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Pesticides and other hazardous chemicals (restricted import)

Description:

The importation of Pesticides and other hazardous chemicals into Australia is controlled under Regulation 5I of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (PI Regulations).

Chemicals restricted under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and/or domestic regulations.

The importation of the following is prohibited chemicals, unless permission has been granted:

Aldrin (HHDN); HCH (mixed isomers) (BHC); lindane, chlordane; DDT; dieldrin (HEOD); endrin; heptachlor; hexachlorobenzene (HCB); methoxychlor; oxychlordane; mirex; toxaphene (camphechlor).

The importation of organochlorine chemicals, or goods derived from organochlorine chemicals, or isomer of an organochlorine chemical can be permitted if:

  • the chemical is an active constituent or a chemical product as defined in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 and a permission in writing has been granted by the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Regulations 1995; and the permission is produced to a Collector; or
  • in any other case the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources has granted a permission in writing to import the goods; and the permission is produced to a Collector.

Permits issued by:

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

More information:

For more information about the controlled chemicals permit requirements visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

For more information about consent to import unapproved active constituents or unregistered agricultural or veterinary chemical products visit the Australian Pesticides & Medicines Authority website.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Technical and International Policy Section
Food and Product Safety and Integrity Branch
Agriculture and Veterinary Chemicals
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6272 3933


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Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Terphenyls and Polyphenyls (restricted import)

Description:

The importation of Pesticides and other hazardous chemicals into Australia is controlled under Regulation 4AB of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (PI Regulations).

Regulation 4AB applies to the following goods or goods containing these substances obtained by chlorination: Polychlorinated and Biphenyls (PCBs) and Polychlorinated Terphenyls (PCTs) or other Polyphenyls.

Under certain limited circumstances, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection may grant permission to import PCBs and PCTs or other Polyphenyls. The permission to import must in writing.

PCBs have been used in electrical appliances (such as transformers and capacitors), as coolants (often in light fittings), hydraulic fluids, plasticisers and dye carriers. They are classified as persistent organic pollutants under the Stockholm Convention and are toxic to human health.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

For general information relating to controls on industrial chemicals, visit the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) website or email info@nicnas.gov.au.

You can also contact us.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import PCBs and PCTs should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary
Trade & Customs Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616


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Pornography and other objectionable material (restricted import)

Description:

Includes publications, films, computer games and any other goods 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.

More information:

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


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New psychoactive substances (prohibited import)

Description:

Includes any substance that, when consumed, has the capacity to induce a psychoactive effect.

Also includes synthetic drugs and substances marketed as alternatives to illicit drugs that have the same or similar effects to illicit drugs.

Exemptions:

The following substances that are restricted under other import controls are excluded:

  • food
  • tobacco products
  • therapeutic goods
  • agricultural chemicals
  • veterinary chemical products
  • industrial chemical
  • a plant or fungus (or extract thereof)
  • a controlled or border controlled drug, plant or precursor
  • a prohibited import under the Customs Act 1901
  • substances imported by or on behalf of law enforcement agencies, forensic laboratories or medical and scientific research facilities.

A psychoactive substance that represents a serious drug alternative is not a prohibited import if it is in:

  • food
  • therapeutic goods
  • agricultural chemicals
  • veterinary chemicals.

More information:

Visit:


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Radioactive substances (restricted import)

Description:

Any radioactive material or substance including radium, any radioactive isotope or any article containing radioactive material or substance.

More information and requests to import:

For more information about the licensing and permit requirements for these goods, visit the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency or email importpermits@arpansa.gov.au.


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Sanctioned countries/entities

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 requests to import:

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

Permission is required to import certain goods into Australia from a sanctioned country. 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.


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Security Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate (SSAN) (restricted import)

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 import:

Visit the relevant state or territory regulator.

More information:

Further information can be found at:


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Signal jammers / signal jamming devices (restricted import)

Description:

Signal jammers can prevent or disrupt mobile phone and satellite navigation services.

The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 prohibits the importation of signal jammers into Australia unless exempt. These devices are also prohibited for domestic use in Australia by operation of section 190 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992.

More information:

For more information visit the Australian Communications and Media Authority website.


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Suicide devices (prohibited import)

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 import:
Suicide devices are prohibited from importation; permission to import them will not be granted under any circumstances.

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Tablet Presses (restricted import)

Description:

Tablet presses are defined as manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic equipment that can be used to compact or mould powdered or granular solids, or semi-solid material, to produce coherent solid tablets. They do not include encapsulators or tablet press parts such as punches or dies.

Requests to import:

Permission to import a tablet press is required from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Evidence of the lawful manufacture of tablets will be required, such as a licence to manufacture therapeutic goods from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

See: application form to import a tablet press.

More information:

For more information contact us.


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Therapeutic drugs and substances (restricted import)

Description:

Drugs and substances including abortifacients, aphrodisiacs and others controlled for health reasons. They also include laetrile and thalidomide.

More information and requests to import:

For more information about the permit requirements of these goods, visit the Office of Drug Control.


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Tobacco - unmanufactured leaf (restricted import)

Description:

Unmanufactured tobacco that is not stemmed or stripped. This includes tobacco in the form of whole tobacco plants or leaves in the natural state or as cured or fermented leaves.

Permits issued by:

The Commissioner of Taxation

More information:

For more information contact us.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Excise and EEG Licensing Group
Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 3514
Albury NSW 2640
Telephone: 1300 137 290
Fax: 1300 130 916
Email: ATO-EXC-Tobacco@ato.gov.au


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Toys - toxic material (restricted import)

Description:

Toys with a coating that contains excess amounts of toxic compounds such as lead, arsenic and barium.

Permits issued by:

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

More information:

For more information contact us.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary
Trade & Customs Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616


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Trade Practices Act goods (restricted import)

Description:

Goods subject to a permanent ban under the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Competition & Consumer Act 2010) including: glucomannan, certain seat accessories and sun visors, certain toys, oral snuff and chewing tobacco (if imported in quantities greater than 1.5 kilograms), certain water ski releases, gas masks containing asbestos, and candles/candlewicks containing leads.

Permits issued by:

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

More information:

For more information contact us.

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:
Director
Product Safety Hazard Response Branch
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
PO Box 3131
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6243 1232


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Viable materials/stem cells derived from human embryo clones (regulated import)

Description:

Living tissues and cells (viable material) derived from human embryo clones is prohibited unless the relevant Minister or an authorised person has granted permission in writing, and the permission is produced to a collector at or before the time of importation.

The Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002  (Human Cloning Act 2002), prohibits the importation and exportation of prohibited embryos.

More information:

For more information contact the National Health and Medical Research Council: embryo.research@nhmrc.gov.au.


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Warfare Goods and other Weapons (restricted import)

Description:

Military goods and other weapons including: blow pipes, crossbows, martial arts equipment, knuckle dusters, slingshots, maces and flails.

Permits issued by:

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection or the state or territory police (dependant on weapon type), prior to the arrival of the goods in Australia.

More information:

Visit the Firearms and Weapons webpage and your State or Territory police firearms and weapons registry:


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Woolpacks (restricted import)

Description:

Woolpacks used for the storage and transporting of greasy wool or scoured wool. Woolpack caps (the cover) used to seal older style woolpacks.

Permits issued by:

Importers require either:

  • an original test certificate stating that the unused Woolpack conforms to the Australian Wool Exchange Standard as described in the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956; or
  • written permission from the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.

More information:

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website

Telephone: +61 2 6272 5680
Email: woolanddairy@agriculture.gov.au

Requests to import goods:

Requests to import these goods should be addressed to:

Meat, Wool and Dairy Branch
Agricultural Industries Division
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6272 5680


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