Shipping your possessions to Australia

It may help you feel at home to take your belongings with you. As such, rather than purchasing everything anew, you may choose to ship your personal effects or household items to Australia.

There are many companies who specialise in international shipping. Air freight is usually considerably more expensive than sea freight because it is so much quicker.  You should choose whichever company you think best meets your needs.

Be aware of hidden costs which you may be liable for, and which may not be included in your quote, such as the costs of insuring your goods during shipping, and quarantine on arrival.

Everything you send to Australia will be subject to some kind of quarantine intervention and you may be subject to the costs of an examination and storage your goods during this time. If the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) finds that some or all of your belongings require treatment before being allowed into Australia, (or destruction in the event that the item cannot be treated), then you will also be subject to the costs of fumigating, destroying, or returning your goods to their place of origin.  

To keep the cost of bring your possessions to Australia down, it is very important to check that the items you send to Australia are not prohibited (such as live plants or flower bulbs), and that your possessions are not likely to warrant AQIS intervention in order to be released into Australia. Any plant based furniture or decorations are likely to cause concern, as are any items which come into regular contact with soil or freshwater (such as gardening tools, sporting equipment, outdoor furniture and shoes).

Make sure that you use clean boxes in which to pack your goods, and avoid using as packing materials anything which is commonly used to protect fresh food items (such as vegetable boxes or egg cartons).

A list of common fees and charges associated with the quarantine of household items and personal effects in Australia may be found here.

Items which cannot be taken into Australia under any circumstances may be found here, whilst items which cannot be shipped to Australia under any circumstances may be found here.