Pitfalls

The Customs and Quarantine rules in Australia are very strict. Once your goods have arrived at an Australian port or airport you have three days to remove the goods from the port or you will be hit with port storage charges that can be very high. If customs or quarantine refuse to clear your shipment you will have to pay for storage until the problem is rectified. This can take many weeks and the storage charges can run to hundreds or thousands of dollars. Generally even if only a small part of your shipment in non-compliant, the whole shipment will be impounded. We recommend you contact us as early as possible for advice, preferably before your shipment sails. We will liaise with your agent to ensure smooth passage of your shipment through Australia’s border protection process.

In every case your shipment has to be cleared by both customs and quarantine. Depending on the contents it may also need clearance from other government agencies such as the Transport department or Health department. We recommend you review the list of restricted items that may need additional authority to import.

Here is a list of some of the common issues that can be easily avoided.

Trailers. You MUST have import approval from the transport department (a VIA) to import the trailer and your shipment will not be released until that authority has been obtained. Note also that trailers are not considered personal effects even if the thing on the trailer (minibike, boat, aircraft etc) is a personal effect. Any imported trailer must comply with Australian Design Rules. In many cases it would be cheaper and easier to dispose of the trailer in the origin country.

Timber. Any timber items must be treated on arrival in Australia (which can be expensive) or have an internationally recognised treatment certification. This applies to wooden articles as well as wood used for crates, pallets or packing. It is not good enough to get “treated timber” from the local hardware store. It must be certified as treated to export standard. Bark is prohibited on any timber article or packing material.

Garden Tools. Items such as lawn mowers and line trimmers must be cleaned to a very high standard. Any grass, seed or plant residue will result in a quarantine violation. You will be given the option of having the item professionally cleaned (which can cost several hundred dollars) or destroyed by quarantine (which will also cost a few hundred dollars). This can be very frustrating when the item in question is only worth a few dollars in the first place.

Vacuum Cleaners. The vacuum cleaner may appear clean externally but if you have failed to empty and clean the dust bag there will be a quarantine violation.

Pot Pouri. Plant material is prohibited by quarantine and will result in a violation.

Barbeques, Cooking Equipment. Make certain these are cleaned to a very high standard with no fat or food residue.

Pet and Animal equipment, beds, containers etc. These must be clean with no pet hair or other residue.

Personal Effects