The Aussie weapons importation debate takes aim again!
It seems the general consensus by the Australian Government and Customs is; that if the Australian general public can’t bear arms, then why should those moving to Australia be allowed to bring them to our shores?
When faced with the decision of importing of guns, firearms, ammunition or accessories within household goods shipments to Australia, you and your moving company may need to jump through a series of complex hoops in order to satisfy the strict regulations and requirements, or abandon the idea completely.
Australia is renowned for having some of the strictest custom laws in the world. Following community concerns surrounding weapon based crime in Australia, the Australian Minister for Home Affairs last year announced that the import controls on weapons, firearms, firearm parts, ammunition and accessories would be tightened considerably. The regulations were again reviewed in October 2012 and already on the agenda for further review in 2013.
The reviewed regulations propose a ban on the import of a series of potentially dangerous items unless the owner is able to prove legitimacy to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
A few examples of ‘deemed legitimacy’ of weapons and firearms include:
- The import of such items in order to provide for the Australian Military or a law enforcement agency
- If previously exported firearms are returning to Australia (returning goods)
- For use by professional pest controllers (specified person)
As the Minister pointed, “There is no legitimate use for many of these weapons, and no reason for members of the public to have them”.
So how could one address this challenge when moving to Australia?
Anybody who wishes to import what is considered ‘a high risk weapon’ must demonstrate to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the proposed lawful use or need of the items through a series of conditions and requirements referred to as ‘Tests’. The completion of the tests must be finalised prior to, or on, import in order for importation to be granted.
What are the Tests?
They are a series of forms specific to the degree of weapon or firearm awaiting import. As per the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service website depending on the weapon, firearm or non-firearm you plan to import, your moving company may be required to fulfil the requirements of multiple tests. The importation of certain firearms and weapons calls for the written permission of the Attorney-General or delegate. In order to obtain this permission, importers must first fulfil the relevant import tests.
But wait there’s more: in order to satisfy the Customs and Border Protection Service tests, ‘Permission of Import’ must also be issued by the relevant State or Territory body of the proposed import’s final destination. The permit issuing body may be the Police or Attorney-General’s office specific to each Australian State or Territory.
It is required that future or current residents wishing to import any prohibited items must obtain the certification that the items are either appropriately licensed and registered by Australian standards, or does not require a specific license to be held, from a governing body. Without this specific certification the Customs and Border Protection Service will not release the items upon arrival.
Want to know more:
The website for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service contains all the material, documentation, and further contact information required to take you through step by step the rules and requirements of importing any prohibited weapons, firearms, or items primarily used in a form of combat, intoAustralia.
Refer to www.customs.gov.auwhere you can familiarise yourself with the general prohibitions and restrictions. Or further information can be obtained by contacting the Customs Information and Support Centre via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.