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Requirements for using a DEC permission

Important Note: The following information provides general advice in relation to export licences and permits granted by the Department of Defence, in accordance with Regulation 13E of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958.

End date for export licences and permits

Each permission will state an expiry date. Exports may be undertaken using the permission up until that day. Exports after this date will require the issue of a new permission.

Note: The requirement to comply with a condition or requirement does not cease on the expiry date.

Requirement to lodge a Customs declaration

A declaration to export, regardless of the value of the goods, quoting the permission number, must be made to the Australian Border Force (ABF), otherwise the goods may be classified as “Prohibited Exports” and be liable for seizure by ABF. Information on making an ABF declaration is available from the ABF website.

Record keeping

In accordance with the Customs Act 1901, exporters are required to maintain records for five (5) years from the date of exportation.

Licence and permit conditions

Export permissions are often issued subject to conditions. The permission holder is legally obliged to comply with any conditions or requirements placed on a permission. The holder should be familiar with the conditions and requirements of a permission and put in place procedures to ensure they are met.

Reporting conditions are frequently applied to export approvals covering multiple shipments. Exporters are required to submit regular reports detailing the exports, including nil returns, made under the permission. A reporting condition will specify:

  • the approved form on which the reports are to be submitted,
  • the information that must be reported,
  • the dates by which the reports are to be submitted, and
  • where to submit the completed report forms.

Reporting templates can be found on the Reporting Advisories and Forms section of the Forms page.

Exporting firearms

In addition to any licence or permit conditions, if you are exporting firearms you must comply with relevant State and Territory regulations relating to the movement or disposal of firearms. You should check on any restrictions and reporting requirements with your local law enforcement agency or State firearms registrar prior to export.

Special conditions apply when exporting more than ten (10) firearms. These will be listed on the conditions of your permit or licence.

The export of antiques or items with heritage value may be subject to restrictions under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Regulations 1987, which are administered by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport. Exporters should investigate any export restrictions on possible historical items with the National Cultural Heritage Committee, or by contacting:

Museums Section
Office for the Arts
Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600


Tel: 02 6210 2929
Fax: 02 6210 2905

All firearms must have import permission in order to be re-imported into Australia. Information and fact sheets are available from the ABF website.

Non-compliance with a requirement or condition

The minister may revoke a permission if the holder of the permission has failed to comply with a condition or requirements.

A person whose conduct contravenes a condition or requirement of a permission may be liable for a fine of 100 penalty units ($18,000).

A permission may be revoked at the discretion of the Minister for Defence. In such event, the procedures outlined in Section 112 (2AB) of the Customs Act 1901 would be followed.

Further information on penalties for non-compliance can be found on the Penalties page.

Contacting DEC

If you have any questions regarding a permission, you should quote the permission number when contacting DEC.

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