20 July 2017

Introduction

The importation or exportation of narcotic, psychotropic and precursor substances subject to regulation 5 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and regulation 10 of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 is prohibited unless the importer or exporter holds a licence and permit issued by the Drug Control Section (DCS).

The substances subject to these import controls are listed in schedule 4 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and schedule 8 of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958. DCS has also prepared a list of controlled substances, which is available on the Office of Drug Control website to assist in identifying drug substances that are prohibited imports or exports and subject to licensing/permitting requirements.

Licences are not granted to individuals for the purpose of obtaining medications for personal use. If you are an individual wanting to access medications that are prohibited imports you should consult your doctor.

To apply for a licence to import or export controlled substances the application form titled 'Application for a licence to import and/or export narcotic, psychotropic and precursor substances' must be submitted to DCS. The guidance provided here will assist you in completing and submitting the application form.

A licence in itself does not authorise the importation or exportation of substances subject to regulation 5 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and regulation 10 of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958. A permit to import/export each specific consignment of goods is also required. Information on applying for permits is available on the Office of Drug Control website.

Completing the form

The table below will assist you in identifying the required information for completing the licence application form. Please complete ALL fields, indicating 'nil' or 'not applicable' if required.

Part of application form Explanation of required information
1. Application type

Specify the calendar YEAR of the proposed import/export activity

Licences are valid for up to 12 months and expire on the 31 December.

You must specify the calendar year of the proposed import/export activities for which this application applies. If no date is specified, the licence will expire on the 31 December of the year the application was made.

Licence to Import

Check the boxes to indicate whether the application is for a new or renewal of an import licence.

Licence to Export

Check the boxes to indicate whether the application is for a new or renewal of an import licence.

2. Applicant Details

Applicant's name

State the name of the person making the application.

Position held in company

Describe the position held by the applicant in the company/business you work for.

Mobile number, direct phone number, contact email

Provide full contact details of the applicant.

3. Business information

Name of company/organisation

Provide the full name of the company/business name that will be the licence holder.

ABN/ACN

State the Australian Business or Company Number

Company identification no

Provide the company identification number issued by the Drug Control Section. This number will appear on your current licence. (Applicable to renewal applications only)

Current licence No/s

Provide your current licence number(s) issued by the Drug Control Section. There will be a different licence number for your import licence and export licence. This number will appear on your current licence. (Applicable to renewal applications only)

Street address

This should be the physical address of the establishment that the licence holder is employed by.

Postal address

The address to which correspondence in relation to this licence should be sent.

Reason for import/export

State the purpose(s) for which the controlled substances are required, for example: manufacture of finished products, sale of raw materials to other manufacturing companies, sale of finished products, sale of diagnostic kits, sale of laboratory standards.

4. Australian shipping agents or customs agents

State the name, address and the service provided by those companies acting as customs or shipping agents. Under 'service provided' you should state whether the agent prepares paperwork, collects goods from customs or does both.

5. State/territory licence(s) held

Attach copies of the relevant licences issued to the licence holder under state or territory drugs and poisons regulations and (if required) evidence that the licence has been renewed or renewal is in process. Typically these will be licences to possess, use or distribute Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons Schedule 4, Schedule 8 and Schedule 9 drugs in accordance with state/territory legislation. Show the full name of each such licence, the licence number and the period of its validity.

6. Storage and security

Provide details of the premises where controlled substances will be stored, used at or supplied from. The security of the premises must be suitable for the substances and the quantities that the applicant will be importing.

If you are a commercial importer or exporter* you should indicate the date on which your last security report was provided to this office and the date of the last inspection of security by officers of your state/territory health department.

*Commercial importers or exporters are considered to be all establishments except pharmacies importing /exporting small consignments of drugs for individual medical use, or universities or research institutes using small amounts of controlled substances for research purposes

If there have been changes to your operations since your last security report, such as increased quantities of substances being stored, or a wider range of controlled substances being stored, a new independent assessment should be provided even when the last security assessment was less than three years ago.

Provide details of the transport security measures for each class of drugs (S4, S8, S9) and indicate who will be undertaking the transportation of the drugs.

Provide details of all losses and/or thefts of controlled substances from any company premises. Please include the: substance name, amount lost or stolen, storage address where the loss or theft occurred and date on which the loss or theft occurred. If the loss or theft was investigated please indicate the outcome and any resulting modifications to security procedures.

7. Proposed authorised contacts

The licence holder may nominate person(s) to submit and discuss import or export permit applications on their behalf. The licence holder should state the full name and position held for each person to act as an authorised contact.

Each person nominated in this section must complete and sign Schedule 2: Personal Details of Proposed Authorised Contact.

8. Declaration and Consent

Make sure you read and understand the declaration and consent. Sign the application form. Complete the contact details of the person signing the form. The form must be signed by the proposed licence holder.

Schedule 1: Personal details of the applicant

The applicant is required to complete and sign Schedule 1.

To obtain a National Police Certificate, please contact your local police and apply for a National Police Check. A National Police Check will be required every two years.

Schedule 2: Proposed authorised contact

Each person nominated as a proposed authorised person must complete and sign Schedule 2.

To obtain a National Police Certificate, please contact your local police and apply for a National Police Check. A National Police Check will be required every two years.

Schedule 3: Proposed import activity

This information assists DCS in establishing estimates for Australia's licit drug requirements as required under United Nations agreements. The information also allows DCS to check that importers hold appropriate state / territory licences for drugs that they intend to import in the calendar year. This reduces delays when permit applications are lodged. The information provided does not authorise the import of any quantity of drug by a licensed importer. International quotas are a relevant consideration when issuing permits for the import of specific consignments.

Complete Schedule 3 if you intend to import controlled substances by entering full details for every type of controlled substance to be imported.

List only those substances that you intend to import directly from overseas. If you wish to use any other Australian company to import the controlled substances for you, do not list these substances in Schedule 3. In this case, your annual requirement for import of these substances should be included in the import licence application submitted by the company that will import these goods for you.

Schedule 4: Proposed export activity

This information assists DCS in establishing estimates for Australia's licit drug requirements as required under United Nations agreements. This reduces delays when permit applications are lodged. The information provided does not authorise the export of any quantity of drug by a licensed exporter. International quotas are a relevant consideration when issuing permits for the export of specific consignments.

Complete Schedule 4 if you intend to export controlled substances by entering full details for every type of controlled substance to be exported.

List only those substances that you intend to export directly from overseas. If you wish to use any other Australian company to export the controlled substances for you, do not list these substances in Schedule 4. In this case, your annual requirement for export of these substances should be included in the export licence application submitted by the company that will export these goods for you.

Checklist (Applicant to complete)

Complete the checklist to confirm that you have completed all relevant parts of the form.

Submitting an application

Completed application forms and any other required documentation should be forwarded by mail to:

Drug Control Section
Office of Drug Control
Australian Government Department of Health
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601

DCS endeavours to process applications for licences within 30 working days from the date of receipt. While a very high proportion of applications are processed within this target timeframe, there will be times where high demand may result in slightly longer processing times. Applications forms that contain incomplete or incorrect information will be returned to you for amendment, resulting in delays in processing.


Version history
Date Version Amendments Approved by
8 December 2016 1.0 Original publication ODC
20 July 2017 1.1 Updated contact information ODC