Coronavirus (COVID-19): If you need information about asbestos safety during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please see our page here. If you need any general coronavirus information please see the Australian Government website. Asbestos related diseases also affect the respiratory system, just like coronavirus. If you have health concerns call your doctor or call the coronavirus hotline (24/7) - 1800 020 080.

Permits in very limited circumstances

Applying for permission to import or export asbestos or goods containing asbestos

We administer a process for applying for permission to import or export asbestos or goods containing asbestos.

Applications are considered on a case by case basis. Depending on the case, the decision-maker can either be the ASEA CEO or the Minister for Industrial Relations.

Permission to import asbestos or goods containing asbestos may only be granted for the purpose of:

  • research, analysis or display
  • importation of waste from an Australian External Territory for disposal in a state or territory.

The decision-maker has discretion to grant permission and can refuse to grant it if they believe safeguards are inadequate to protect health and safety. This means applicants need to demonstrate they will comply with all relevant laws including work health and safety, environmental protection and dangerous goods laws and dangerous goods transport laws, including labelling and packaging.  

A permit for display purposes will likely only be granted where the display is a static public exhibition.

Export permission is required for asbestos and asbestos in certain goods leaving Australia.

The Australian Border Force's (ABF) website provides more details on import and export exceptions and permissions. See: www.abf.gov.au/asbestos

How can I apply?

To apply for permission complete the permit application form (automatic download - word document) and send it to: 

Email: permits@asbestosafety.gov.au
Phone: 1300 326 148

Please allow up to 60 days for your application to be processed.

What happens if my application is successful?

Successful applicants will receive a written permit letter containing a permit number. The permit number is provided to the ABF. A copy of the permit letter must travel with any imports or exports so ABF officers can verify the permit is valid.

Permits can be granted as ‘once-off’ or can be granted for 12 months, depending on your application. If they are granted for 12 months, and you want to renew the permit, you must begin the reapplication process at least 60 days before your permit expires.

Australian External Territories (AETs)

If applying from an Australian External Territory, you will most likely need to apply for both an export permit (to leave the territory) and import permit (to enter Australia). It’s best to apply for both at the same time. For more information on this, see the ABF website’s section on the AETs under the heading "Import and export exceptions and permissions".

Where can I check out the laws?

The Commonwealth government has information on Transport of Dangerous Goods on this website.

Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS): this is an internationally recognised system of labelling and is incorporated into most work health and safety laws in Australia. For more information, see Safe Work Australia’s website and your state/territory health and safety regulator (SafeWork or WorkSafe in your state or territory).

Air transport requirements: Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

Sea transport: Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

Australia Post – transport through the post requirements: Dangerous & prohibited items

Australian Border Force: www.abf.gov.au/asbestos

Work health and safety, environment and public health laws: see your state or territory contacts