Preparing your personal effects for shipment to Australia

Some personal effects have the potential to bring pests or disease into Australia and need to be declared.

The list below is designed to assist you identify which goods may be of biosecurity concern and may require cleaning or treatment prior to release. If this is not possible, the items may need to be destroyed or exported at your  expense.

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Household Items (Indoor)

Artefacts / Furnishings / Ornaments / Souvenirs

Including, but not limited to:

  • animal products; such as bones, antlers, feathers, animal hair and hide
  • beads, necklaces
  • carpets, mats, rugs
  • commercially manufactured musical instruments; such as pianos, clarinets, oboes, violins, guitars
  • dried plant products; such as banana products, photo albums, hats, bags, mats, baskets
  • fossils, rocks, sand, shells, soil, stones
  • non-commercially manufactured musical instruments; such as rawhide drums, rainmakers, maracas, pan pipes
  • plant products including bark, seeds, potpourri, dried flower arrangements, sphagnum moss, natural stems
  • pillows, including Thai pillows
  • sand, seeds or soil used as a filling
  • statues made of clay or compressed sand
  • wooden spears, bows and arrows

Festive decorations

Including, but not limited to:
  • Blown eggs
  • Christmas trees, real or artificial
  • Conifer items, pine cones
  • Dried holly, sphagnum moss, vines, wreaths, pine cones
  • Seed pods and straw

Wooden

Items including, but not limited to:

  • antique furniture
  • baskets; such as cane/wicker laundry baskets
  • brushes, jewellery boxes
  • carvings, statues made of wood, totem poles, bamboo products; such as wind chimes
  • furniture or furniture parts made of  bamboo, banana leaf, cane, rattan, timber, water hyacinth, wicker, willow
  • picture frames

Kitchen

All food and pantry items including, but not limited to:

  • all fresh foods; such as potatoes, onions, garlic
  • dried/dehydrated food items; such as herbs, teas, rice
  • pre-packaged food; such as snacks, protein powders and supplements

Kitchenware

Items including, but not limited to:

  • flat packed, prefabricated kitchens
  • food containers, kitchen utensils
  • large appliances; such as refrigerators, freezers
  • small appliances; such as bread makers, food processors, toasters
  • wooden items; such as bowls, placemats, coasters, utensils, cutting boards and knife blocks

General

 Items including, but not limited to:

  • Brooms, dustpan and brushes
  • Vacuum cleaners and bags
  • Waste bins 

Animal equipment

Including, but not limited to:

  • Animal beds, bedding and baskets
  • Animal grooming equipment, leads and/or restraints, saddlery and other tack
  • Fish tanks and equipment, fish food, aquarium rocks
  • Pet food, naturopathic supplements, medicines, bowls, mats, utensils and storage containers
  • Pet-wear, toys and rawhide chews
  • Portable and electronic fencing

Clothing

Including, but not limited to:

  • farm/outdoor clothes
  • footwear, including gumboots, footwear with wooden components
  • hats made of straw or other plant material

Household Items (Outdoor)

Garden equipment, garden furniture and tools

Including, but not limited to:

  • Any plant material
  • Barbeque / grill
  • Fertilizer, garden seeds
  • Fountains, statues etc
  • Garden tools and implements
  • Lawn mowers, ride-on mowers and catchers
  • Outdoor tables and chairs
  • Plant pots
  • Sheds
  • Used tools
  • Waste bins
  • Wheel barrows
  • Whipper snippers, weed eater
  • Wine barrels

Farm goods, vehicles and motorized equipment

Including but not limited to:

  • ATVs, quad bikes, motorcycles
  • Carts, horse floats
  • Farm equipment
  • Jet skis, motorboats, outboard motors (all must be dry)
  • Non-machinery and non-fuel operated items used in and around farms
  • Tyres

Wooden items

Including, but not limited to:

  • Dowel
  • Logs, sawn timber
  • Plywood and veneer
  • Sawdust, wood pieces, wood shavings
  • Timber mouldings

Sporting Equipment / Camping Equipment / Toys

Sporting goods and playground equipment

Including, but not limited to:

  • bicycles, tricycles, scooters
  • cubby houses, sand boxes/sandpits
  • fishing equipment/fishing tackle; such as feather fish flies, lines, rods and tackle boxes
  • hockey sticks, cricket sets, racquets, pool cues, golf clubs, shuttlecocks
  • kayaks
  • sand-filled weights, punching bags
  • seesaws, slippery dips/slides, swings, trampolines
  • sporting footwear; such as football, cricket or golf shoes
  • wetsuits and diving equipment

NOTE: Sporting goods or equipment that has been in contact with fresh water must be dry on arrival.

Camping equipment

Including, but not limited to:

  • Back packs / day packs
  • Boots, climbing implements etc
  • Picnic basket, cooler box / esky etc
  • Picnic rugs, ground sheets etc
  • Tents, tent poles, tent pegs

Toys

Including, but not limited to:

  • Toys filled with sand, soil, seed and/or water
  • Toys with wooden components, including rocking horses, skateboards etc

Miscellaneous

Goods

Including:

  • ​goods not legibly described or without adequate description; for example goods labelled ‘PBO’, ‘stuff’, ‘gear’ or ‘equipment’
  • goods that have not been itemised.

What should I do if bringing in unaccompanied personal effects?

The following checklist is designed to help returning residents or new residents of Australia to prepare their goods prior to packing, so clearance delays and costs can be minimised once the goods arrive in Australia.

  1. ​Consult the following web pages:
  2. Complete your Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement (B534) and declare goods of concern.
    • The B534 formis located in a variety of languages.
    • You or your agent should record the box numbers for any declared risk items so they can be easily located for the inspection. This will reduce your inspection time and costs.
    • Failure to declare risk items on the B534 can lead to prosecution under Australian legislation.
  3. Clean all risk items that you wish to transport to Australia to ensure they are not contaminated with animal or plant material, insects or soil. This includes:
    • outdoor toys; such as sandpits, pedal cars, toy trucks
    • outdoor furniture, outdoor pots, statues and water fountains
    • lawn mowers, garden equipment/ornaments, shovels
    • footwear - shoes, boots, football boots (pack them in the same boxes)
    • pushbikes, motorbikes and quad bikes
    • sporting equipment including gym/exercise weights
    • barbecues, oven grills and cook tops
    • camping equipment
    • vacuum cleaner bag – ensure it is empty and clean
    • rubbish bins
    • animal cages and bedding, fish tanks
    • carpets, rugs, mats  - ensure they have been  vacuumed
    • horse equipment (check BICON for import conditions)
  4. Clearly record what is in each box on the packing list.
    • When you or your removalist record items on the list, include what the goods are made from; for example metal bed frame, wooden chair(s), plastic picture frames, cane basket.
  5. Number the packing boxes and match the numbers on your packing list.
    • It is better not to use second hand boxes or bags that have previously been used to carry animal and plant material and soil; for example fruit and vegetable cartons, meat boxes, egg cartons and fertiliser bags.

Tips for wooden items and goods including plant material

  1. Timber / wooden furniture:check for small holes or frass/shavings und​er the items as this may indicate wood borers are present. If live timber pests are found on arrival, the furniture will require treatment at your expense.
  2. Heat bags:check to see what they are filled with and record this on the packing list. Treatment may be required if they are filled with seeds or plant material.
  3. Decorations, artefacts, ornaments, picture frames, photo albums, handmade paper, pot pourri, dried flowers:check for plant material; for example pine cones, vines, moss, flowers, leaves, seeds and bark, as it may require treatment or destruction at your expense. 
    • Christmas decorations containing plant material are one of the most common items volunteered for destruction at the owner’s expense.

Tips for other goods

  1. Foods:check import conditions on the department’s BICON system. Some foods are permitted but others may be prohibited or require treatment.
  2. Pet food and medicine:check import conditions on BICON. They may require an import permit.
  3. Animal skins or rawhide items:check import conditions on BICON. They may require treatment.

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