The Chemical Weapons Convention: Information for Importers and Exporters of Chemicals 2014

Under the Customs Act 1901, Australia regulates both imports and exports of CWC-Scheduled chemicals. This ensures that prohibited trade does not occur, and enables collection of data required for declarations to the OPCW.

The Chemical Weapons Convention: Information for Importers and Exporters of Chemicals 2014 [PDF 4.11 MB] | [DOCX 651 KB]

Trade in CWC-Scheduled Chemicals

Schedule 1 chemicals (or mixtures thereof, regardless of quantity) may only be imported from a CWC member country and cannot be reexported. Schedule 2 chemicals (or mixtures thereof, regardless of quantity) may only be imported from or exported to countries that are CWC member countries. Schedule 3 chemicals may be traded with non CWC member countries, subject to an end-user declaration.

A full list of States Parties to the CWC can be obtained from the OPCW website.

All import and export permits are issued free of charge.

Import Licensing Procedures

Section 5J of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 prohibits the import of all CWC-Scheduled chemicals [DOC 231 KB] | [PDF 98.7 KB] unless permission is granted in writing by the Minister of Foreign Affairs or an authorised person within the Department of Foreign Affairs. Senior ASNO staff are authorised to grant permission to allow imports. A system of permits has been developed to allow ASNO to collect import information relevant to Australia's declaration to the OPCW. The provision of an import permit is simple and rapid.

Export Licensing Procedures

Section 13 E of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 prohibits the export of all CWC-Scheduled chemicals unless permission is granted in writing by the Minister of Defence or by an authorised person.

CWC Schedule 1 and 2 chemicals may not be imported from or exported to countries that are not yet members of the Convention. A full list of States Parties can be obtained from the OPCW website.

The Department of Defence - Export Control Office administers Australia's strategic export controls, including those mentioned here. Further information on export control guidelines may be found through the Australian Controls on the Export of Defence and Strategic Goods dated November 1996 (2006 Edition).

Enquiries can be made to the Defence Export Control Office (DECO).

Additional CW-Related Chemicals Requiring Export Permits

Australia applies export licensing procedures to Australia Group chemicals, which include CWC-Scheduled Chemicals as well as a number of related chemicals that are not listed in the CWC Schedules. This is due to the possibility of their use as precursors in the manufacture of chemical warfare agents.

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