Import and import permits

Guidance is provided here on importation requirements and import permits.

Within Australia: restrictions apply to each state and territory for the movement of items (such as plants, plant products, animal products and soil) to protect Australia's valuable local and overseas markets. These restrictions operate under state and territory legislation. A guide to SA quarantine requirements should be consulted before bringing goods into the state.

From overseas: If you want to import organisms or biological products from overseas then you will need to check with the Department of Agriculture and obtain the appropriate approvals.

Steps involved in importing organisms or biological products:

  1. Check the Import Conditions database ICON to see what Import Conditions might apply to your organism, biological product, mineral or human commodity.
  2. Follow the instructions on the ICON database to apply for the appropriate Import Permit.
  3. If granted an Import Permit then remember to follow all the conditions on the Permit.
    NOTE: if you are importing a Genetically Modified Organisms then you will also need prior approval from the UniSA Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).
  4. Arrange for importation of goods following the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).
    Alternatively, you may wish to engage the transport company such as World Courier who can pack and transport goods correctly for a fee (See Transportation of Goods).

Related Topics:

Buying over the Internet - Goods purchased on the internet are required to be cleared from Customs control when those goods arrive in Australia. More detailed information is provided by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

Importing goods by Post - If goods are received from overseas by mail then you may be liable for duty, taxes and charges and subject to the controls of the Department of Agriculture.

If you have any queries or need assistance then please contact:

Ethics & Integrity
Research and Innovation Services
Mawson Lakes Campus

Import permits

An import permit is required to import goods that are subject to quarantine. Dependent on the goods to be imported, the permit may include conditions which restrict the goods to Approved Arrangement sites. 

Import Permits may be required for a range of goods including:

  • Live Animals
  • Plant Materials
  • Fish and Drosophila
  • Biological Materials

To determine whether an Import Permit is required check the Department of Agriculture Import Conditions (ICON) database. ICON Provides specific information about goods and commodities and their intended uses. ICON will identify whether or not an import permit is required. The Import Permit will list specific conditions relating to the importation.

Please refer to the following Department of Agriculture websites for information about:

Plant material and plant related products may also be subject to South Australian conditions of entry. You are advised to refer to the Plant Quarantine Standard to determine the entry requirements for fruit, vegetables, plants, plant machinery and plant related products into South Australia.

On receiving your Import Permit you are required to record the current import permit number in all your importation records. Please forward a copy of the permit to