Quarantine and Customs in Australia
Customs and Quarantine Regulations
Quarantine helps protect Australia. Food, plant material and animal products from overseas – including many common souvenirs – could introduce some of the world’s most serious pests and diseases into Australia, devastating our valuable agriculture and tourism industries and unique environment.
Prior to landing on Australian soil, you will be handed an immigration form to fill out, as well as Customs and Agriculture Declaration forms. Australia has particularly strict quarantine laws – you must declare all goods of animal or plant origin, and you’re not allowed to bring into the country fresh fruit or vegetables. If you’re concerned about bringing any items into Australia, declare them. And if you’ve been snacking on the flight, place any leftovers in the amnesty quarantine bins available in the arrival area or on the way to the luggage collection bay.
Unaccompanied goods, including your household effects, are sometimes subject to the payment of duty/tax if you have not both used and owned the goods for 12 months or more, prior to shipment. Brand new items are subject to payment of duty/tax. If you require clarification on this issue please email us or visit
- What can’t I take into Australia?
- Personal effects of concern
- Personal Effects Statement
- Spirits / Liquor Inventory Form
On Arrival – Declare your items
You must declare for inspection all food, plant material and animal products on arrival to Australia to ensure they are free of pests and diseases.
Some products may require treatment to make them safe.
Other items that pose pest and disease risks will be seized and destroyed by AQIS (the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service). You can dispose of high-risk items in quarantine bins in the airport terminal. If you’re not sure, ask a Quarantine officer.
Quarantine – Prohibited items into Australia
When importing goods into Australia all foodstuffs should not be included. Equally important, all traces of soil and other foreign matter should be removed from items such as vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, golf clubs, garden tools, wheelbarrows, etc. prior to your removal uplift day. We have listed some of these items to assist you.
The Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) maintains a high level of physical inspections on incoming consignments into Australia of personal and household effects. AQIS applies a fee for services accordingly and these fees are recovered from the importer upon arrival of the consignment in Australia. Fumigation and other AQIS inspection treatments will also attract a fee.
To clear your goods through Australian Customs you will need to complete a B534 Customs Form and provide a photocopy of all stamped pages of your current passport. This can be done either in Australia or at your point of origin.
To obtain a copy of the B534 form (Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement), visit: Department of Agriculture or contact:
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) GPO Box 858Canberra, ACT 2601Phone: (02) 6272 3999Fax: (02) 6272 5888E-mail: email@example.com
Prohibited Goods – The following goods must be declared:
- Seeds and nuts – includes commercially packaged seeds, seed ornaments and necklaces (some seeds are prohibited), nuts out of shell such as salted nuts, in foil or roasted
- Plant products – straw packaging, wooden articles, artefacts, handicrafts and curios – includes wreaths and decorations made of cereal or grain, articles stuffed with seeds or straw, carvings, items made from palm fronds or leaves (items made from banana leaves are prohibited)
- Animal products – includes any items made with rawhide, such as drums, shields, artefacts, dog chews; and any treated skins, hides, furs, hair or feathers (some may be prohibited under international wildlife legislation)
- Food – includes cooked, uncooked and ingredients
- Dried fruit and vegetables
- Herbs and spices of any kind – includes herbal medicines and remedies, tonics, teas
- Biscuits, cakes and confectionery – includes chocolate, sweets, crisps, nuts, pretzels
- Noodles and rice – includes processed and instant meals (noodles containing meat are prohibited)
- Teas, coffees, and milk based drinks
- Bamboo, cane or rattan basketware and mats – including coconut carvings, cane baskets
- Wooden articles – includes painted and lacquered items
- Fresh flowers and leis – (flowers that can be propagated such as roses, carnations and chrysanthemums, are prohibited)
- Dried flower arrangements
- Pine cones and potpourri – includes natural and decorative products such as wreaths
- Shells or coral in any form – includes jewellery, curios and souvenirs (some may be prohibited under international wildlife legislation)
- Feathers, bones, horns and tusks – must be clean and free of blood, skin, dung or soil
- Stuffed animals – must be accompanied by a certificate stating that they have been prepared by a taxidermist (some may be prohibited under international wildlife legislation)
- Wool (unprocessed) and animal hair – includes yarns, crafted rugs and clothing. Wool must be scoured and hair cleaned
- Animal equipment (used) – includes clothing, footwear, grooming and veterinary equipment, saddles, bridles and birdcages
- Sporting and camping equipment – includes tents, footwear, hiking boots, golfing equipment and bicycles
- Bee products
Goods you cannot bring:
- Dairy, eggs and egg products – Includes whole, dried and powdered egg and some products with egg as an ingredient (infant formula accompanying an infant, and NZ dairy products are allowed)
- Live animals – Includes birds, birds’ eggs, fish, reptiles and insects
- Meat and meat products -Includes all un-canned or fresh, dried, frozen, smoked or salted meat
- Seeds and nuts – Includes raw unroasted nuts, raw peanuts, chestnuts and popping corn
- Fresh fruit and vegetables – Includes all fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables
- Live plants – Includes cuttings, roots, bulbs, corns, rhizomes and stems
- Handicrafts and souvenirs that contain or are made from seeds
- Salmon and trout products – ask about special import conditions (canned salmon is allowed)
- Biological materials – includes human/animal vaccines and therapeutic goods (ask about special import conditions)
- Deer horn/velvet, edible birds nest packaged products – deer horn and/or antler from NZ are allowed (with certification)
- Soil and sand – Includes items filled with soil or sand (rocks free of soil and sand are allowed)
Email us – we are always happy to assist with your enquiry. Should you have any specific questions relating to prohibited items into Australia, please visit:
Importation of Spirits / Liquor
The Australian Custom Service requires an inventory of any imported alcohol. Please note that importing alcohol is very expensive. Charges can be approximately 50% of the declared value on wine (Duty, GST and Wine Equalisation Tax) and up to 150% on any hard liquor.
Importation of Vehicles
DO NOT IMPORT A VEHICLE INTO AUSTRALIA BEFORE OBTAINING A VEHICLE IMPORT APPROVAL
A Vehicle Import Approval must be obtained for a vehicle to gain customs clearance at its point of entry. Vehicles that arrive in Australia without an Import Approval generally incur significant storage costs until an Import Approval is issued. If the vehicle does not meet the requirements for an Import Approval, you will need to either export the vehicle or have it destroyed at your own expense.
Also note that in order to assess whether an Import Approval will be issued a full application and supporting material will need to be submitted. Only then can a decision be made. The Department is unable to tell you whether your vehicle will qualify for an Import Approval over the phone or by email until an application is submitted and assessed.
The Following are contact details for the Department of Transport in Canberra –Department of Infrastructure and Transport
If Calling Outside Australia
Tel: 61 2 6274 7444
Fax: 61 2 6274 6013
If Calling Within Australia
Tel: 1800 815 272
Fax: (02) 6274 6013
GPO Box 594
CANBERRA ACT 2601
111 Alinga Street
CANBERRA ACT 2600
a) Import Permit: Please ensure you apply for and are granted an import permit for the vehicle from the Department of Transport and Regional Services in Canberra before shipping to Australia.
b) There is GST/Duty Payable.
These duties/taxes will be required to be paid to Australian Customs before they will release the vehicle. The importer must be in Australia when the vehicle arrives in order for clearance to be effected. Where they are not present, the vehicle will be held in bond until the importer’s arrival as clearance will not be possible without their presence.
c) If you would like further information, the following Email addresses and homepages may be of use:
Import Of Motor Bikes into Australia
a) Import Permit: Please ensure you apply for and are granted an import permit for the motorbike from the Department of Transport and Regional Services in Canberra before shipping to Australia. Do not ship your vehicle to Australia until such time as you are issued with an Import Approval because DOTRS will reject any applications for vehicles arriving in Australia without the required permit. It is also an offence to ship a motor vehicle to Australia without the required permit.
b) GST: Please note that motorbikes are exempt from Customs Duty and Car Luxury Tax. However 10% GST will be payable on the motorbike calculated on the Australian Customs value of the vehicle, transport and insurance costs. All taxes will be required to be paid to Australian Customs before they will release the vehicle.
c) To be able to import a motorbike under the personal import scheme, you must have owned and used the motorbike for at least 12 months. Please ensure that your motorbike is free of soil and any other matter before it is shipped to Australia to avoid expensive cleaning charges from AQIS.
The importer must be in Australia when the vehicle arrives in order for clearance to be effected. Where they are not present, the vehicle will be held in bond until the importer’s arrival as clearance will not be possible without their presence.
If you require any further information, the following email addresses and web pages may be of use: –
Customs Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DOTARS Email: email@example.com
PLEASE NOTE: This information provided to you is to the best of our knowledge and understanding at the time of reply. We cannot be held responsible for any action Customs or the Department of Transport may take at the time of importation should it differ from what we understand to be normal practice. Customs and DOTARS will base any decision and duty/tax assessment on the final application of the importer at the time of that application. We have no control over their decision and cannot be held accountable in any way. It is in your best interests to contact both these authorities to verify your particular circumstances.
For more information regarding quarantine contact one of the following AQIS offices:
QLD + 61 7 3246 8755
WA + 61 8 9334 1555
VIC + 61 3 8318 6700
NSW + 61 2 8334 7444
ACT + 61 2 6272 4143
CAIRNS + 61 7 4030 7800
TAS + 61 3 6233 3352
SA + 61 8 8201 6000
NT + 61 8 8920 7000
Fax queries: +61 2 6272 4494
» Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service: 1800 803 006 or visit aqis.gov.au