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Import and export

Import and export of controlled substances

Licences and permits are required to import and export certain narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, precursor chemicals, antibiotics and androgenic/anabolic substances.

These substances are controlled under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958.

There are processes and controls that you need to be aware of when applying to import or export prohibited substances.

Controlled substances

Information relating to importing, exporting or travelling with controlled substances is now hosted on the Office of Drug Control (ODC) website.

The ODC is part of the Health Products Regulation Group of the Australian Government Department of Health. It regulates and provides advice on the import, export and manufacture of controlled drugs, as well as the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The following information has been relocated:

The ODC website now also provides specific information relating to sporting teams, military exercises and medical aid missions as well as import restrictions on Khat and Kava.

For more information please contact the ODC's Drug Control Section,

Importing therapeutic goods

Most products for which therapeutic claims are made must be listed or registered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) before they can be supplied in Australia.

Exporting therapeutic goods

Safety and quality in medicines are not just a local matter. The increasing globalisation of trade means that our responsibilities continue beyond the limit of our territorial waters.

The Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 applies to both the supply of therapeutic goods in Australia and the export of therapeutic goods from Australia.

A key requirement of the legislation is that all therapeutic goods must be included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), including those that are exported.

There are processes and controls that you need to be aware of when applying to export therapeutic goods.

Import/export of unapproved therapeutic goods for experimental purposes

Approval is required under sections 19(1)(b), 32CK(1) or 41HB(1) of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 to import unapproved clinical trial goods for subsequent export or to export unapproved clinical trial goods manufactured in Australia.

Import and export forms