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.
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.
- Failure to comply with these regulations may breach the Customs Act 1901.
- A brochure outlining import permit requirements may be downloaded here: Australian Controls on the Import of Chemicals under the Chemical Weapons Convention: Guidelines for Importers [PDF 4.11 MB]
- Copies of import permit application forms are available in Table 4. Applications for import permits can be faxed or emailed to ASNO.
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.
- Additional CW-related chemicals requiring export permits (Table 5) [PDF 13.7 KB] | DOC 56 KB]
- Australia also applies export licensing procedures to other chemicals such as those listed by the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime. Additional chemicals requiring export permits can be determined from the Defence and Strategic Goods List.
- Proposed Australian Harmonised Export Commodity (Classification AHECC) codes for these chemicals can be downloaded from the Australian Bureau of Statistics webpage