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Hazardous Waste

Australia has strict rules relating to the import, export and transit of hazardous waste to protect people and the environment and meet our international obligations under the Basel Convention on Controlling Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (the Basel Convention).

Under the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 (the Act), the movement of hazardous waste into and out of Australia requires a valid permit issued by the Minister for the Environment. Exporting, importing or transiting hazardous waste without a valid permit is an offence that carries severe penalties.

Hazardous Waste permits

You will require a hazardous waste permit if you are a waste broker, agent or dealer and you plan to export, import or transit hazardous waste for recovery or final disposal operations.

  • Before a hazardous waste movement can proceed, consent must be received from the country of import and export, as well as all transit countries involved in the transport of the waste.
  • Some movements of hazardous waste are severely restricted, and each country can define its own rules about what is hazardous waste and what it will accept.
    • Australia will only allow exportation of hazardous waste for final disposal operations in exceptional circumstances.
    • Countries that have ratified the Basel Ban amendment will not accept hazardous waste movements from Australia.
    • You should check with the country of export or import and the transit countries, for their domestic requirements and ensure you understand how it may impact your application.
  • Australian hazardous waste permits are valid for a period of up to 12 months and can involve a number of shipments.

Before you start

  • Information regarding Australia's hazardous waste permits is available on the Department's website.
  • Have your supporting documents ready. You need to:
    • Ensure the recycling facility in the import country is licensed or authorised to process the hazardous waste. Copies of the license or permit are required to show that the facility can recycle hazardous waste in an environmentally sound manner.
    • Supply financial information for your organisation.
    • Supply your previous compliance or non-compliance record.
    • Have insurance for transporting the hazardous waste that covers third-party public liability, and damage and loss caused by environmental pollution.
    • Have a contract in place covering transportation of hazardous waste all the way through to the recycling facility.
  • Save your changes regularly. The online application system will timeout after one hour and your changes will not be automatically saved.

Application documents

  • The information you include as part of your online application will generate two documents that can be reviewed, printed and edited and must be signed and submitted as part of your application:
    • Application form - this provides information on the type of hazardous waste, transport and disposal of the waste.
    • Notification document - this is used to notify the Competent Authority of all countries involved in the movement and disposal of the waste as required by Article 6 of the Basel Convention.


  • There are significant costs associated with a hazardous waste permit application that cannot be refunded. If you are unsure if you need a permit, submit an enquiry (if you are a registered user), or contact the Hazardous Waste Team at hwa@awe.gov.au, before starting your application.


  • The application fee and levy will not be refunded.
  • Information on permit application fees and the levy are available under Permit Application Fees.
  • The application fee and levy will be calculated for you when you complete Section 1 of the application form.
  • After submitting your permit application, a tax invoice will be generated with payment information. If you would like to make an online payment using a credit card, visit our Make a Payment page.

Further information

For further information please visit the hazardous waste website.


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