Guide: International Removals to Australia

How long will it take?

If you have booked a full container load you can expect a door-to-door transit time of 6-8 weeks. A shared container shipment, referred to as groupage, will be cheaper but it will take longer, usually 10-12 weeks door-to-door.

What can I take?

You can import any household goods and personal effects that you have owned and used for 12 months or more before you depart for Australia duty-free. Owners can nominate a 3rd party to clear their effects however this may incur extra charges at destination. In this case the owner must arrive into Australia no more than 6 months later. All new items purchased within 12 months of importation must be declared to Australian customs in which case duty and GST will be charged at the applicable rate. Please be aware however they can be subject to examination by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS), carried out in AQIS approved premises. An inspection can create delays up to 14 working days after the consignment has arrived. Because of this inspection full containers cannot be delivered straight to residence. Charges will be included in the price of your relocation.

There are certain items that may attract the interest of AQIS. Any items that may have come into contact with the soil or vegetation, not just obvious things like garden tools, bikes, golf clubs, etc but also shoes or any outdoor items. Other items may include vacuum cleaner bags or anything containing dried matter such as wreaths and other decorations.

It is essential that you thoroughly clean such items before departure. AQIS may still at their discretion order further cleaning or treatment, which will incur further costs.

Fridges and freezers containing CFC refrigerants will be allowed entry when imported as part of a household move by a first time immigrant or a returning Australian who originally purchased the item in Australia.

Required documentation for household goods only:

  • Australian customs form (B534) for personal and household effects
  • Photocopy of passport, photo and visa page.
  • Inventory list (completed by packing crew).

Can I bring a car?

All motor vehicle are subject to Customs Duty and/or Goods and Services Tax (GST). For vehicles less than 30 years old, both customs duty and GST are charged at 10%. For vehicles over 30 years old, there is still 10% GST but no customs duty. Please be aware however that there is an additional Luxury Car Tax (LCT) at 25% applied to vehicles exceeding a certain level. There is no customs duty on a motor cycle, but GST at 10% will apply.

You must obtain import approval prior to shipment otherwise your vehicle will be re-exported or destroyed, as well as incurring a possible fine. You will also need to get import approval for ride-on-mowers, quad bikes, motorised scooters and mini motorbikes.

Once the vehicle has been granted approval and imported, changes to the vehicle may be required to make it compliant with Australian safety standards.

Prior to shipping, all vehicles must have their chassis and wheels steam-cleaned and the inside valeted (if applicable). Vehicles can only be shipped with a minimal amount of fuel in the tank.

Sailing boats, non-motorised caravans, trailers, etc. can be imported duty and GST free, however a vehicle import approval must still be obtained prior to entry.

Required documentation for motor vehicles:

  • Australian customs form (B357) for motor cars.
  • Vehicle registration form.
  • Sales or purchase invoice and service record.
  • Import approval

What you can and can't take with you

Foodstuffs such as meat, poultry, dairy products, seeds, herbs and spices are prohibited from inclusion within the shipment.

We recommend that no food or beverages be included within a shipment in order to avoid possible costly delays. Alcohol may be imported providing a full listing has been made. Duty and GST will be charged at the appropriate rate. Please note that beer, wine and spirits carry high rates of duty.

Untreated wooden items including bark and certain Christmas decorations made of natural products will be ordered for treatment or destruction at the importers expense. The shipping of bamboo products, basketware, caneware and rattenware is possible, although these items may be required to undergo cleaning, disinfection or fumigation at destination incurring extra costs.

Feathers, furs, skins, tusks, etc. from endangered species are all prohibited. Items which have been treated during the manufacturing process, such as feather duvets or leather sofas will not cause any problems.

Most firearms require police authorisation which should be sought prior to shipping with the police department of the relevant state. Upon arrival the firearm will be taken away for ballistics/safety testing and returned to the owner once approved and the firearms licence has been obtained.

Additional information


The electrical supply in Australia is 240-250 volts. Domestic appliances from the UK should work in Australia with an adapter for the power outlet, which although being a 3 pin is a different design to that used in the UK.


Sydney +10 hours, Perth +8 hours

Country dialling code

00 61 followed by local code (6 for Canberra, 2 for Sydney, 9 for Perth)

To discuss your international removal to Australia, contact our team on:

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