Travelling with firearms to and from Australia

You must meet a number of requirements if you plan to travel to or from Australia with firearms and related goods.

Transhipping firearms

Firearms that are brought into Australia and will be transferred from one conveyance to another for the purposes of export to another country are considered to be transhipping. This includes situations where persons travelling to another country are changing flights at an Australian international airport, or sending goods through Australia via air or sea cargo.

Firearms that are being transhipped through Australia in order to be moved elsewhere are considered to be imported and exported goods. Import permission is not required for these firearms provided that they meet the following conditions:

  • they are imported only for the purposes of transhipment to another country
  • permission to export the firearms (in the form of a Defence Export Permit or Restricted Goods Permit) has been granted and presented to the Australian Border Force (ABF)
  • the firearms remain under the effective control of ABF while in Australia.

Re-importing firearms

Travellers returning to Australia with firearms and related goods used in a lawful shooting competition or hunting activity overseas are not required to apply for import permission where all the following requirements are met:

  • the firearms and their parts, magazines, and ammunition are category A, B or H firearms or paintball markers
  • the importer is an individual and an Australian resident
  • the importer departed Australia with the goods and is returning from an overseas voyage with the same goods
  • the importer presents to the ABF a valid firearms licence issued by the police authority where they reside
  • the importer presents to the ABF the export permit (Defence Export Permit or Restricted Goods Permit) used to export the goods. If the item is not controlled on export (e.g. paintball markers) they need to demonstrate that they lawfully possessed the article prior to departing Australia
  • the importer used, or had intended to use, the goods while overseas to take part in a lawful competition organised by a shooting association, or in a lawful hunting activity
  • the goods have not been modified (except for repair) since they were last exported from Australia.

In any other case, and for any additional controlled items, police certification or written permission to import from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department is required prior to importation.

Information on how to obtain permission to import is available for specific firearm types on the page.

Exporting firearms

To export firearms and related goods out of Australia, travellers must first obtain written permission from the Department of Defence (Defence Export Permit) or the ABF (Restricted Goods Permit) prior to exportation.

For information about exporting firearms, see Defence Export Controls on the website.