The Office of Drug Control (ODC) actively monitors and authorises the importation of controlled substances into Australia. We do this by issuing import licences and relevant permits as per international conventions governed by the International Narcotic Control Board (INCB).
The following international drug control conventions govern the control of substances at an international level:
Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961
Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971
Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988
ODC issues licences and permits for the import of controlled substances under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 to support Australia’s obligations under the international drug control conventions.
For some prohibited imports, once the import licence is in place, an application to obtain an import permit may be submitted for each shipment of a substance you are intending to import. A new permit application must be completed if a permit will expire before intended use to prevent your goods from being seized at the border.
To apply for an import licence or permit please see the relevant pages below:
For some prohibited imports, once your permit has expired or been used you must return the green triplicate copy of the permit to the Office of Drug Control by mail within 14 days. Each triplicate must be endorsed by an authorised contact (such as the licence holder or the relevant broker) and completed prior to its return. The Australian Border Force (ABF) no longer endorses import permits.
The Department of Health and Aged Care acknowledges First Nations peoples as the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to all Elders both past and present.