General FAQs

Information regarding controlled goods is available in the The Defence and Strategic Goods List page. You may seek assessment of the status of your goods, technology or services by submitting an Application to Export Controlled Goods and Technology form.

No, Defence issues export permissions and assessments free-of-charge.

DEC endeavours to process non-sensitive export applications as quickly as is practical, but the processing time is up to 15 working days. However, for sensitive or complex applications, the time frame can be up to 35 days due to the need to consult with other government agencies. Also, if the export application is highly complex or sensitive the time frame can be longer.

For more information on the process for applications see the How to apply page.

Many delays are due to incomplete documentation, i.e. lack of End-User Certificate, insufficient goods information. It is important that all applications are lodged with full and complete details with all required documents. A further common reason for delays is that your goods may require the approval of the source country of the goods for any re-export or retransfer to a third country – your source country export documentation may provide advice on that issue.

If you have an urgent application – please advise us that it is urgent. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to process urgent applications any faster than the 15 working days – though we will try.

Existing permits can be amended by Defence Export Controls (DEC) to make small additions. If you want to make a significant addition (e.g. addition of new destinations OR multiple new end users or consignees OR significant increases in quantities OR different technology), DEC may ask you to submit a new ‘Application to Export or Supply Controlled Goods or Technology’. DEC cannot remove information from an existing permit, so if you want to do this, you will need to advise DEC that you want your existing permit to be cancelled and submit a new application.

Yes, all controlled goods being transhipped through Australia require permission from DEC.

DEC can issue an in-principle approval, which will enable you to ascertain in advance if you can export the goods, if you win the contract. Please allow sufficient time for this consideration, especially if the destination may be sensitive.

Bear in mind that the in-principle assessment is preliminary advice, which indicates the likely outcome of a future application to export to a specific destination or end user. It is issued based on the information you provide, and an assessment of factors at a particular time, including international security considerations. As factors affecting assessment outcomes may change over time, in-principle assessments are not a guarantee of future permission to export controlled goods, services or technology.

DEC does not have a specific list of countries, however the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has extensive information on export-sanctioned destinations on their website.


Defence agencies exporting military goods for an exercise are exempt. However, if the export is done by freight forwarding company or commercial carrier, an export permit may be required.

No, an RGP is issued instead of a Defence Permit. However, a Defence permit is necessary for:

  • Class C firearms;
  • Class D firearms;
  • all fully automatic firearms;
  • firearms equal to or greater than 0.5" (12.7 mm) in calibre;
  • for the export of more than four (4) firearms;
  • any firearm/s sent by mail;
  • any firearm/s going to a destination that is subject to a United Nations or other sanction or arms embargo;
  • any replica firearms;
  • all firearms sent for repair or return;
  • for the export of firearms as unaccompanied personal effects;
  • for all commercial exports.

Ammunition quantity limits also apply:

  • 4000 rounds - target shooting;
  • 300 rounds - protection in international waters against piracy;
  • 200 rounds – hunting; and
  • Reasonable quantities of associated parts and accessories.

Note: Firearm parts, accessories and ammunition may only be exported using an RGP if these goods are being exported with the associated firearm and must be included on the RGP.

All applications to export controlled goods must include a Customs Client Identifier (CCID) (form B319), or an Australian Business Number (ABN). Export applications will not be accepted without a CCID or ABN. 

For more information on CCIDs, please visit the Australian Border Force Website.

Yes, for certain chemicals you do need import approval. Please see Australian Border Force Prohibited Goods Page.

Please contact the Australian Border Force by telephone on 1300 363 263 or via the contact information on the ABF website.

Yes, there may be. Please see the Australian Border Force, Australian Government Business, and Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) sites for guide to exporting.

The Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) does not contain a definition of "military use". When assessing if a good may be "specially designed for military use", the technical assessment will consider if the:

  • Product can be fitted to military equipment only, e.g. conforms to a relevant Military Standard (MIL-STD) that define interfaces (cabling, connectors, hardware / firmware / software implementations, etc);
  • Development was sponsored by military forces;
  • Item has a NATO Stock Number (NSN); Joint Electronics Type Designation (JETDS) or any other special military equipment designation number;
  • Function / performance is certified MIL-STD or MIL-SPEC (Defence Specification) and defined by an appropriate MIL-STD, e.g. MIL-STD-810; MIL-STD-188 and similar;
  • Item is marketed by the manufacturer as military and targeted for military / police / government markets; and
  • Goods or technology have a declared or perceived military end-use including law enforcement / government agencies.

A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Stock Number, or National Stock Number (NSN) as it is known in the US, is a 13-digit numeric code, identifying all the 'standardised material items of supply' as they have been recognised by all NATO countries including the United States Department of Defense. However, many countries that use the NSN program are not members of NATO , e.g. Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

A two-digit Material Management Aggregation Code (MMAC) suffix may also be appended, to denote asset end use but it is not considered part of the NSN. An item having an NSN is said to be 'stock-listed'.