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If you are an importer, or if you are importing any goods into Australia, there are some important things that you should be aware of before you bring your goods into the country.

Importing asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) into Australia is prohibited, except under very limited circumstances. ACMs can only be imported for research, analysis or display purposes.

In all cases, a permit to import samples of ACMs has to be approved by the Minister. Read more on how to apply for a permit to import for research analysis, or display purposes.

Even if you believe that the goods you are importing do not contain asbestos, there could be a chance that they do.

The list of countries where asbestos is banned is a useful resource for you to determine how likely it is that your goods contain asbestos. If you are importing a product from a country that is not on the list (where asbestos in not banned) there could be a chance that it contains asbestos.

You can also refer to the list of goods that could contain asbestos. If you are importing a product from this list, particularly from a country where asbestos is not banned, then it could contain asbestos.

It is the responsibility of the importer to make sure that goods do not contain asbestos before they are imported into Australia.

To do this, you can arrange for a sample of the goods to be imported into Australia for testing purposes. Read more about importing samples for testing to find out how to do this, and for a list of current permit holders that you can contact to help you with this process.

You could also get a certificate, declaration, or test result from an overseas supplier that confirms that the goods or materials are asbestos-free. Any overseas documentation, or test results must be considered to be equal to Australian standards by the Australian Border Force (ABF). The guidance for importers page contains more information on this and also provides a link to an ABF fact sheet on the rules and regulations around asbestos importations.

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency does a lot of work in order to raise awareness on the risk of importing products containing asbestos. Recently, the agency worked with the ACT Government (ACT Asbestos Taskforce) to host a seminar designed to raise awareness about the risk of importing products containing asbestos. Videos are available of the seminar which highlight the importance of being asbestos aware when bringing goods into Australia.