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Moving To Australia

Customs Clearance :

A Customs form (B534) issue 6/00 (no earlier) Unaccompanied Baggage Statement must be signed and completed by the owner of the goods to clear the shipment when it arrives in Australia. Photocopies of passport pages including Australian entry stamp (some ports of entry require copy of all pages including blank pages, - check with your moving company at port of entry) together with a full descriptive inventory in English are required to clear Customs. (Original passport may be required by Customs for car clearance). It is preferable that the completed Customs declaration, passport copies and inventory are attached to shipping documents and received by your moving company prior to arrival of the shipment.

Prohibited and Restricted Goods :

Drugs of dependence, for example, narcotics, hallucinogenic drugs, amphetamines, barbiturates, and tranquillisers must be declared to Customs (they should not be included in any shipment of household goods and personal effects). Goods such as dangerous weapons (including spring-bladed knives, daggers, swordsticks and knuckledusters) are prohibited. Firearms including air, gas, flame and starting pistols and spear guns are subject to import restrictions and will be subject to release on approval from the Police authorities. All firearms and ammunition imported in Australia must be declared to Customs. Any article made from wildlife species must be checked with your Moving Company, before shipping, as they may be prohibited.

Household Goods and Personal Effects :

All goods entering into Australia are subject to Customs inspection and clearance. Unaccompanied baggage and household goods may be imported into Australia free of customs duty providing the personal and household effects have been owned and used overseas for (12) twelve months or more preceding the customer's departure for Australia. Items not in this category, which have been owned and used for less than twelve months, will be subject to duty. The rates applicable vary and purchase receipts, invoices or the like will be required to substantiate values involved. All alcohol is dutiable and must be declared, even partly used bar stock.

Import of CFC Refrigerant and other pre-charged Systems into Australia :

The importation into Australia of household freezers and refrigerators or refrigeration or air-conditioning equipment that is charged with a CFC (R12) refrigerant is prohibited (totally banned) under the Ozone Protection and Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 and such equipment must be removed prior to shipment to AUSTRALIA. This includes air-conditioning units in motor vehicles (usually those built before 1996).

A revised Australian Customs Services Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement (B534 form) is expected shortly which will include a specific question and a declaration required from importers to meet the requirements of the Act.

Documentary evidence is required to show that the refrigerant has been evacuated and the relevant system parts have been removed.

Any importer who does import any of this equipment may be subject to prosecution, seizure of equipment, fines and other monetary sanctions. Further information may be obtained from:- Department of the Environment and Heritage website:-

http://www.deh.gov.au/atmosphere/ozone/licences/index.php or by contacting the Department by email at ozone@deh.gov.au or the Ozone and Synthetic Gas Team GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601 Telephone 61–2 6274 1373

Importation of CFC Refrigerants/Equipments into Australia/Update :

Following further discussion with the Department of Environment and Heritage it has been confirmed that there is an exemption in place for any items being imported as personal effects by immigrants and individuals arriving on a temporary entry permit or returning Australian residents who are importing pre charged equipment that they originally sent out from Australia.

The only restriction relates to Australian residents who have purchased the equipment whilst overseas and are importing that equipment into Australia for the first time.

It should be noted that Motor Vehicles do not qualify as Personal Effects and a permit from the Department of Environment and Heritage is required to allow importation.

Motor Vehicles :

When importing a motor vehicle, motorcycle, trailer, new or second hand, the client must obtain an import permit from the Federal Office of Road Safety in Canberra. This permit must be obtained prior to shipping.

Quarantine :

Australia is very dependent upon primary industries such as livestock and agriculture. Australia is fortunate, indeed unique, in its freedom from many diseases of humans, animals and plants, which affect other parts of the world.

As a result, quarantine regulations are strict and, if in any doubt, please check with your agent at the port of entry into Australia.

While live animals are the greatest risk, animal products such as fresh and tinned MEAT, SALAMI, EGGS and DAIRY PRODUCTS are risk items. Many such articles or goods are prohibited, as are plants, soil, seeds, skins, shells and the like.

When importing a motor vehicle, motorbike, caravan or trailer the quarantine authorities will inspect the vehicle on arrival and may require it to be steam cleaned. Clearance will be assisted if all soil, etc., is removed from the vehicle (including underneath) before shipment. This also applies to any item, which comes in contact with soil, e.g., lawn mowers, garden tools, garden furniture and bicycles.


Making a false or misleading statement to the Authorities is an offence and may involve heavy penalties. Drug trafficking is against the law and severe penalties apply.