Border patrol – ABF issues reminder regarding import rules

The nation’s border watchdog is reminding firearm owners about the importance of completing the correct paperwork and checking all the boxes when importing firearms, parts or accessories. The Australian Border Force (ABF) contacted the SSAA directly to request that we share the import guidelines with our 180,000-plus members, to ensure new and seasoned shooters alike are aware of the current requirements.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection website details the many steps licensed firearm owners must go through in order to import firearms, parts or accessories. In a statement to the SSAA, the ABF said: “While the majority of firearm owners do the right thing, it is important that importers stay up-to-date on their obligations, as laws and regulations may change over time. This helps to ensure importers do not face unnecessary delays at the border due to the appropriate permissions not being in place, or that the goods become seized by the ABF.”

The ABF also outlined the importance of obtaining permission before importing parts and accessories as well as firearms, including for seemingly inane or even inoperable parts. Examples of parts that need to be declared as listed on the ABF website include barrels, triggers, frames or receivers, slides, bolt carriers and stocks. Firearm accessories such as sound suppressors also need to be declared. Both parts and accessories must be declared, even if the item is incomplete, damaged or inoperable.

According to the ABF’s website, penalties for importing firearms or firearms parts without permission could result in a fine of up to $450,000, 10 years in prison, or both. “Permission to import these goods into Australia can be obtained from your state or territory police firearms registry or the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department,” the ABF said.

Questions still remain about exactly how many illegal firearms and firearm parts are detected at the border each year, with the ABF indicating more than 1700 undeclared firearms, parts and accessories were stopped at the border in 2015-16.

For more information on the current importation rules, visit the ABF website.

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