Many goods and services can be exported from Australia without a licence. However, there are certain products still subject to controls, and can take the form of absolute prohibitions or restrictions. Absolute  prohibitions apply to protected wildlife, heritage items, certain weapons and  other dangerous goods, and in cases where Australia has a trade embargo in  place.

According to the Australian  Customs and Border Protection Service, the following goods may not be exported until all necessary permits are obtained from the relevant authorities:

  • primary products including meat, wheat and wine
  • materials covered by international agreements
  • defence-related goods
  • dual-use technologies
  • fauna
  • items of cultural significance
  • certain minerals
  • merino sheep.

Customs regulations stipulate that goods may not be exported without the granting of approval by means of a cleared Export Declaration Number. A Certificate of Clearance must also be obtained before the goods on a ship or aircraft can depart Australia.

Learn more about customs regulations.


The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service administers schemes that can benefit exporters by lowering or deferring duties on some imported goods.

Three schemes are available:

  1. Duty drawback – enables exporters to obtain a refund of customs duty paid on imports that will be incorporated into other    goods for export, or are re-exported unused.
  2. Customs warehouses – hold goods 'in bond' with duty deferred or not imposed if goods are re-exported
  3. Manufacturing in Bond (MiB) – allows goods to be manufactured using imported parts and components on which duty has not been paid, where there    is a clear intention for these goods to be exported.

Export assistance schemes

Additional export assistance schemes are available through state and federal-level government departments, including:

  • AusIndustry's Tradex Scheme provides up-front exemptions from customs duty and GST on imported goods that are intended for direct export, or inputs used to manufacture other    goods intended for export.
  • Access Program – our program offers facilities, export-related assistance and in-country expertise to Victorian company representatives visiting overseas markets.

Serious about exporting?

Whether you’re a Victorian business looking at entering new markets, expanding into additional markets, or taking on more challenging high growth markets, our online self-assessment tool, our Go Global export-readiness self-assessment tool will show you how to get there.

Go Global is a comprehensive self-assessment tool that you and up to five of your employees can take to:

  • identify your business's strengths
  • identify the gaps in capabilities
  • recommend your business's next steps to bridge those gaps
  • support your business to go global.

Your export journey starts here