Importing, exporting and visiting or moving to Australia with firearms
Release date: Thu 29 December 2011
Last updated: Tue 8 March 2016
The movement of firearms and firearm parts, ammunition and accessories in and out of Australian territory is controlled primarily by the Australian Border Force. Victoria Police and the Attorney-General's office provide limited administrative and regulatory assistance to Customs.
You must declare all firearms, weapons and ammunition when arriving in Victoria from overseas or departing Victoria for overseas. For information about declaring firearms, contact Australian Border Force.
Border Force requires Victoria Police to certify that Victorian residents wishing to import firearms, imitation firearms, paintball markers or firearm ammunition, parts or accessories are either appropriately licensed to receive that item or the item does not require a licence to be held. Without this certification or 'Import Permit' from Victoria Police's Licensing & Regulation Division ('LRD'), Border Force will not release your item to you.
There are no fees for applying for an Import Permit but applying for a 'Permit to Acquire' a new firearm does attract a processing fee. LRD's Quick Guide to Importing and Exporting: Firearms, Ammunition, Parts and Accessories (PDF) provides detailed information about the requirements and limitations of importing and exporting these items.
To apply for an Import Permit for longarms or paintball makers and their compatible ammunition, parts and accessories you need to submit a completed Application for Police Confirmation for the Importation of Firearms and Parts B709A (PDF).
To apply for an Import Permit for handguns and compatible ammunition, parts and accessories you will need to submit a completed Application for Police Confirmation for the Importation of Firearms and Parts B709D (PDF).
To apply for an Import Permit for imitation firearms or weapons, and their compatible ammunition, parts and accessories, you will need to submit a completed Application for Police Confirmation for the Importation of Firearms and Parts B709B (PDF).
If you wish to export any of your own firearms, ammunition, parts or accessories you will need to apply to Border Force for a 'Restricted Goods Permit'. In certain circumstances, you may also need to submit additional information to Border Force. For assistance with your particular situation, contact Australian Border Force.
If the exported item(s) will not be brought back into Australia, you must advise Licensing & Regulation Division and provide a copy of the relevant export documentation. If the exported article(s) will be brought back into Australia, you will need an Import Permit before you export the item from Australia. You must also inform LRD in writing within 14 days of returning to Australia where you will ordinarily store each firearm you own.
Returning to Australia with your registered firearms and related goods
Australian residents who travel overseas with their firearms and related firearm goods to use in lawful shooting activities (e.g. hunting or competition event) do not need to obtain a certification to re-enter the country with the same items provided the following conditions are meet:
If the above conditions are not met, or, you are returning with additional controlled items obtained while overseas you will be required to apply for a certification for those items. You will still need to be issued with the relevant export permit by Australian Border Force to leave the country with your firearms.
International visitors and firearms
If you plan to visit Australia to participate in an approved shooting activity in Victoria, you must have an 'International Visitors Permit'. You will not be able to participate in a Victorian shoot until your International Visitors Permit application (PDF) has been approved.
If you want to bring your own firearm, ammunition, parts or accessories with you when you participate in an approved Victorian shooting activity, you must also have the relevant Import Permit. Border Force will not release your items to you if your Import Permit application has not been approved before you arrive in Australia.
You should submit both applications four weeks before your visit.
If you move permanently to Australia from overseas, you do not require a Permit to Acquire to bring your firearms with you as long as you can prove that you own them. You will, however, need to apply for a Victorian firearm licence and must provide details of the firearms you own on your licence application form. You will also need to arrange for a LFD to store your firearms while the outcome of your firearm licence application is determined.