Applying for a permit

ASEA advises that information on this page is subject to change due to a current review of the permit application process. ASEA is currently implementing a range of changes to streamline the application process, which will provide applicants:
• clearer instructions
• application submission through a form on the ASEA website
• faster processing times
If you have any questions please contact ASEA at or call the Asbestos Safety Hotline on 1300 326 148.

Samples that potentially contain asbestos can only be imported into Australia if you hold a permit.

This page explains how to apply for a permit to import suspected asbestos samples into Australia for the purpose of research, analysis or display.

Permission is granted either by the Minister who oversees the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 or the ASEA CEO. ASEA provides advice to the Minister or ASEA CEO on permit applications.

If a permit is granted, the applicant will receive a permit number that must accompany the importation of any samples. Ongoing permits can be granted for a maximum period of 12 months, after which they must be renewed. Once-off permits are only valid to import a specific sample. Details of the permit will be provided to the Australian Border Force and potentially to the relevant WHS Regulator. Permit holders may wish to have their details recorded on our website here.

Completed applications should consist of a letter with attached supporting information or documents and via addressed to the ASEA CEO:
Chief Executive Officer
Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency
Level 10, 255 Elizabeth Street

If you have any questions, please contact ASEA at or call the Asbestos Safety Hotline on 1300 326 148.

For note, the ASEA CEO may give permission under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 there is sufficient evidence that the importation is for an allowable purpose and that work health and safety (WHS) systems and procedures are adequate.


Organisation details and asbestos type

1. Name address and contact phone numbers for the organisation and representative (Note: this will be provided to Australian Border Force (ABF) and the relevant WHS regulator)
2. Whether the importation is
a. Chrysotile asbestos
b. Amphibole asbestos (i.e. other types of asbestos)
c. The purpose of importation: research, analysis or display
3. Reason and origin of importations
a. Reason for importation e.g. to test representative samples prior to full shipments, to test samples from vehicles related to a potential import into Australia, or to test samples unrelated to a potential import into Australia and why
b. Location of clients: foreign based overseas, Australian based overseas, foreign or Australian based in Australia
c. Countries or regions of origin e.g. China, Europe
4. A statement if you wish to have your organisation’s details listed on the ASEA website here.

For the purposes of Research and/or Analysis

Details of imported samples – transport and disposal considerations

1. Quantity
a. Total number of expected samples within the validity period e.g. 30–50, 200, approximately 10 per month
b. Dimensions of importation e.g. samples smaller than a 10 cent coin, 15mm x 15 mm
c. Estimated total disposal size at the end of the 12 month period e.g. 1m3 , 10m3
d. Will the waste be contained and exported back to the originating country under Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958? (Note: this will minimise the hazardous waste burden in Australia)
2. Type of items that samples may be taken from e.g. building materials, air monitoring cowls, vehicles.

Work Health and Safety compliance considerations

1. Laboratory accreditation
a. NATA Accreditation numbers relevant to asbestos
b. Laboratory address(es)
2. Details including supporting evidence (attachments to application letter) of risk management of samples in relation to
a. Handling – Procedures for risk managed handling and transport e.g. Standard/Safe Operating Procedures (SOP), Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
b. Packaging arrangements for transport and storage e.g. pelican case, 200μm thick bags
c. Labelling – Identification of hazardous material as per Globally Harmonised System requirements and any requirements under the Australian Dangerous Goods Code
d. Transporting – Details of who will transport the samples and transport mode e.g. courier company name imported by air and then by road
e. Disposal – How the samples will be disposed of e.g. relevant section in risk management or procedural document, waste disposal certificates.

For the purpose of Display

1. The location of the display and whether it is static and public
2. All WHS risk management systems to prevent exposure of workers and others to asbestos fibres including maintenance and repair e.g. SOPs or JSA, Asbestos Risk Management Procedures, warning signs, Asbestos Risk Register or Hazardous Materials Register, emergency management systems.

ASEA will endeavour to provide periodic updates on the progression of, and outcomes of decisions to all applicants.

Stage 1: Review of application by ASEA  Stage 2: Clarification of information by ASEA (if required)  Stage 3: Determination by the Minister or authorised person  Stage 4: Communication of outcome by ASEA to:
1. The applicant
2. The ABF
3. The Relevant WHS regulator(s)