COVID-19: Australian Export Restrictions on Health Related Products

By Jane Owen


During the COVID-19 human biosecurity period, exportation of some health-related goods has been prohibited, with the intention to control supply in Australia.

Regulation 13GI of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations prohibits a number of goods from being exported from Australia. These prohibitions are in place as long as the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) Declaration 2020 is active or until further announcement. The prohibition in the export of these goods is because of their potential containment qualities, and potential application in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Goods in respect of which export is prohibited include:

  • Disposable face masks

  • Disposable gloves

  • Disposable gowns

  • Goggles, glasses or eye visors

  • Alcohol wipes

  • Hand sanitiser

  • There are some limited exceptions to the prohibition.

A range of medical equipment has also been prohibited from exportation in anticipation for further demands on Australian hospitals throughout the pandemic.

Exceptions to the prohibition on export are:

  1. When a person is departing Australia, they may take a reasonable quantity of the prohibited items for personal use;

  2. Exported by a person to a relative of the person for the relatives personal use;

  3. Export by a humanitarian organisation;

  4. Export of such items if manufactured by the exporter;

  5. Export of such items is a person’s normal business, which is registered.

NOTE: exceptions 2-5 are applicable as long as the export is not by international post.

Last reviewed: 22 April 2020