Import Controls - Australian Government

Service summary

You must apply for permission from the Australian government if you intend to import an item into Australia that has been classified as a restricted item. The approval or permit required is determined by the type of goods being exported and must be issued by the appropriate authority or agency.

If you intend to import something into Australia that falls under any of the following categories, you should review the Agency web page for instructions and clarification on how to receive permission to import:

  • Tablet presses, therapeutic drugs and substances, drugs, narcotics, kava, antibiotics, growth hormones, substances of human or animal origin and anabolic or androgenic substances
  • Goods bearing the word 'ANZAC' or an image of the Australian national, state or territory flag and coats of arms
  • Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), fish, tooth fish, cat and dog fur products, endangered animal and plant species
  • Unmanufactured leaf tobacco, cigarette lighters, chewing tobacco and oral snuff
  • Protrusion dog collars, incandescent lamps, laser pointers, electronic fly swatters / mosquito bats
  • Chemical weapons, explosives, firearms, weapons, ammunition, knives, daggers and crowd control equipment
  • Pencils, paintbrushes, cosmetics, toys, novelty erasers and novelty money boxes with toxic materials
  • Hazardous waste, security sensitive ammonium nitrate (SSAN), asbestos, ozone depleting substances/synthetic greenhouse gases, hydroflurocarbons (HFCs), pesticides and other hazardous chemicals, radioactive substances and polychlorinated biphenyls, terphenyls and polyphenyls
  • Counterfeit credit cards, pornography and other objectionable material
  • Goods from sanctioned Countries/Entities - Iran, Libya, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (NK) or Eritrea
  • All cultural heritage goods, Kimberley process diamonds, woolpacks, glazed ceramic ware and trade practices act goods.

Please note that not all types of each category of goods mentioned in the above list require a permission to import. However, it is recommended that you consult the Agency prior to importing any of these types of goods, as they will inform you if you require permission.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

Please consult with the Contact Officer for information on any eligibility requirements.


Variable, depending on what is being imported.



Fees will vary depending on your circumstances. Please consult the Contact Officer for more information.


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Administering agency

Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Client Services

Act(s) name

Customs Act 1901 (Australian Government)

Regulation(s) name

Customs Regulation 2015 (Australian Government)

Contact details

General Enquiries
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Client Services

Operating address:
6 Chan Street
Australian Capital Territory 2617
Mailing address:
Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory 2616


13 18 81


02 6264 1111


02 6225 6970

Supporting information


The information contained on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) web site, or via packages or other sources is intended for general guidance only.

To the full extent permitted by law, the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments make no representations or warranties (expressed or implied) in relation to the information, including its accuracy, currency or completeness.

The business information provided does not constitute professional or legal advice, nor is the use of any third party resource an endorsement of the information contained, the associated organisation, product or service. It is recommended that you obtain appropriate professional and /or independent legal advice to ensure that the material provided here is relevant to your particular circumstances.

To the full extent permitted by law the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments, their employees and agents do not accept any liability for any reason, including without limitation, liability in negligence, to any person for the general information which is provided herein, or in respect of anything, including the consequences of anything done, or not done, by any such person in whole or partial reliance upon the information.