Application forms and guidelines
Guidance for completing import permit applications for narcotic and psychotropic substances
The importation of narcotic and psychotropic substances subject to regulation 5 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 is prohibited unless the importer holds a licence and permit issued by the Office of Chemical Safety (OCS).
Links to information and guidance for importers and exporters
PDF printable version of Guidance for completing import permit applications for narcotic and psychotropic substances (PDF 47 KB)
Application for a permit to import narcotic and psychotropic substances (PDF 295 KB)
Application for a permit to import narcotic and psychotropic substances (Word 335 KB)
IntroductionThe importation of narcotic and psychotropic substances subject to regulation 5 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 is prohibited unless the importer holds a licence and permit issued by the Office of Chemical Safety (OCS). A permit is required for each consignment that is imported whereas licenses are issued annually. Information on obtaining a licence is available separately from the OCS website.
The OCS has prepared a list of drug substances controlled under schedule 4 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956. The list is available from the Department of Health and Ageing's website and is intended to assist importers in identifying drug substances that are prohibited imports and subject to licensing/permitting requirements.
Permits 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 permit to import controlled substances the application form titled "Application for a permit to import narcotics and psychotropic substances" must be submitted to the Office of Chemical Safety. The guidance provided here will assist you in completing and submitting the application form.
Completing the formThe table below will assist you in identifying the required information for completing the permit application form.
|Part of application form||Explanation of required information|
|Check box for “Raw Material” or “Finished Goods”|
|Check one box to indicate whether the controlled substance you are proposing to import is a raw material (for example a bulk substance for further manufacturing) or a finished good (for example a pharmaceutical preparation).|
|1. Importer information|
|Licence holder’s name||Permits to import controlled substances can only be issued to importers who hold a licence to import substances covered by regulation 5 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956. State the name of the licence holder.|
|Company name||State your company’s name|
|Company address||State the physical address to be displayed on the import permit|
|Postal address||State the postal address to which you would like the import permit sent. Permits will be sent by normal mail unless an express post envelope accompanies the application.|
|Import establishment ID number||Each establishment that has a licence to import is given a unique identifier by the OCS, for example RN123 or CV987. State your import establishment ID number if known.|
|Import licence number||State your import licence number which can be found on your licence issued by the OCS.|
|Point of entry||The planned entry point for the import into Australia. Specify port city and state.|
|Approximate date of import||Indicate the expected import date for the consignment if the import permit is issued. If the exact date is not known, provide the approximate time period.|
|2. Exporter Information|
|Overseas exporter’s full name||State the full name of the overseas exporter|
|Overseas exporter’s address||State the physical address of the overseas exporter to be displayed on the import permit|
|Export establishment ID number||Each overseas exporter is given a unique identifier by the OCS, for example O12345. State the export establishment ID number if known.|
|Mode of transport||Specify whether the shipment will be transported to Australia by sea or air.|
|3. Substance Details|
|Description of goods||The description should include the name of the controlled substance being imported. For example “Oxycodone tablets”|
|Concentration/Strength||Indicate the concentration/strength of the controlled substance:|
Raw Material: for assayable substances include the assay amount i.e. 98%
Finished goods: show the amount of controlled substance in the preparation, for example X mg/mL for liquids or Y mg/tablet for tablet products. The concentration should be in metric units.
|Form of substance||Indicate the form of the finished goods, for example tablets, capsules, vials, ampoules etc.|
|Pack type and size||Provide details on the pack type and the size|
Raw material: for example, 25 kg drum
Finished goods: for example; 24 tablet blister pack; 100 mL bottle; box of 100 tablets; box of 6 x 2 mL ampoules.
|Total number of packs|
|Specify the total number of packs (as defined above) that make up the proposed shipment. For example 25 packs of 24 tablets; 100 bottles of 100 mL; 1000 boxes of 100 tablets, 250 boxes of ampoules.|
|Drug code||This is an identifier assigned to specific substances and preparations by the OCS. State the drug code if you know it.|
|CAS No.||The Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number is a unique number assigned to chemical compounds. Please include this number if this is the first time you have applied for a permit for these goods.|
|ARTG/APVMA No. or SAS Sponsor||The ARTG No. (Australian Register of Therapeutical Goods) refers to the number allocated to all TGA-approved therapeutic goods. The ARTG number must be provided for all imported finished goods that have a therapeutic claim. This is not applicable to raw materials or non-therapeutic goods.|
The APVMA Product No. (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority) applies to all approved pesticides and veterinary products. If the APVMA number is not available a copy of the APVMA permission or permit must be provided. This is not applicable to raw materials.
Companies wishing to import a commercial quantity of an unregistered therapeutic good in accordance with the Special Access Scheme – Sponsors Exemption should state SAS Sponsor
|4. 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 licence holder or a person that the licence holder has authorised in writing to make applications under the licence.|
Submitting an applicationYou can submit your application in the following ways:
Drug Import/Export Licensing and Compliance
Office of Chemical Safety
GPO Box 9848 (MDP 88)
Canberra ACT 2601
02 6289 2500
The OCS endeavours to process applications for permits 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 for permits 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.
It is the responsibility of the importer to ensure that the triplicate copy of the permit is endorsed by the Australian Customs Service and Border Protection Service and the importer at the time of importation.
It is responsibility of the importer to return the endorsed triplicate copy to the OCS no later than 5 working days after the importation has occurred. Failure to comply with this condition may result in cancellation of import licenses.
IMP_GUID_1 v2.2 Revised June 2012
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