Items that you can and can’t take into Australia

If you are planning relocating to Australia, you are allowed to take your personal effects and household goods which you owned for 12 months prior to your move to Australia. If you have receipts proving the items are yours and they are over 12 months old, all the better.

Australia is understandably very vigilant when it comes to possible diseases and pests that may be imported with your belongings, so all goods entering Australia are subject to biosecurity control.

Cleaning and/or checking certain items ready for Department of Agriculture checks
Australia has very strict regulations on bringing certain items into the country. It’s best to understand what you can and can’t take when planning your international removals to Australia.  They are concerned about any item that has come into contact with or is derived from soil, water, food, animals or plants. The following list gives you an idea of items that can be brought into the country AFTER you have checked them for disease, cleaned and disinfected them. The quarantine check in Australia will take up to 14 working days after your goods have arrived. Please note that if the Department of Agriculture is not happy with your cleaning attempts, they may order further treatment and/or destruction of the item at your cost.

Items that have come into contact with soil or vegetation: –
1. All items that have come into contact with soil and vegetation such as bikes, gardening equipment, camping equipment, sports gear and equipment, and cleaning equipment (even your vacuum cleaner waste bag).
2. All items that have come into contact with animals such as pet bedding, saddles and riding equipment, clothes and footwear.
3. Kitchenware must be emptied, cleaned and thoroughly dried to prevent mould from forming.
4. All footwear must be cleaned, removing any soil or particles.

Timber and Wooden Items:
1. Any items made from wood must be checked for insect infestation.
2. If found either, consider not bringing the item or treat it for the infestation, remembering that if Australian Customs are not happy with your efforts, the item will either be retreated or destroyed at your cost.

Products Containing Plant Material
1. These include things like handmade paper, pot pourri, straw hats and many other items, so think carefully before you pack.
2. Items such as those above, including Christmas decorations containing plant material, will be either destroyed or treated at your expense.

Items that have come into contact with food
1. Kitchenware must be emptied, cleaned and thoroughly dried to prevent mould from forming.
2. Large and small electrical appliances must be thoroughly cleaned e.g. fridges, toasters and blenders.
3. Wooden items e.g. chopping boards and wooden spoons.

Food and Medicines
1. Check import restrictions for food, pet food and medicines.

Allowable items include: –
• Furniture
• Crockery, cutlery, silverware
• Linen
• Clothing (not fur)
• Books
• Jewellery
• Musical instruments
• Antiques
• Paintings and sculptures
• Coin and stamp collections
• Sports equipment
• Power tools

Items subject to Import Duty and GST
• Motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts
• Aircraft
• Caravans, boats and trailers
• Machinery, plant and equipment
• Any item of clothing with animal fur

Taking Electronics
• TV – Must be PAL compatible to work in Australia
• DVD’s – Need to be Region 4 or Region Free discs
• Electrical current for small appliances – Australia’s electrical current is 240 volts at 50 Hertz. Ensure your electrical appliances are compatible with this voltage system.

Taking your car to Australia
Unless your car is of great personal value or it’s a vintage car, it is suggested that you sell it and buy one in Australia. The rules and regulations regarding taking your car into Australia are so extensive that the Department of Infrastructure and Transport have put together a 35-page document, setting them out. Whatever you decide, your vehicle will be liable to 10% GST and probably duty of between 5% and 10%. It must also comply with the stringent safety and pollution standards of Australia, this is important to understand when planning your international removals to Australia.

Taking your pets with you to Australia
Australia will allow you to take your beloved pets with you as long as you follow their very strict import conditions. There are various rules depending on which country you are travelling from or whether you dog is guide dog or assistance dog. Go to for detailed information. This website gives details of pet imports from every country around the world.
If kitty is going with you from the UK to Australia, go to If you are taking your pooch, then look at for a step by step guide. These guidelines must be followed to the letter or you beloved pet may have to spend a considerable amount of time in quarantine at your expense. The Department of Agriculture also has the right to euthanise your animal if all the conditions of the import permit are not met.

Articles you can’t take to Australia (taken from the Australian Government website)
• fresh fruit and vegetables
• uncanned meat products
• egg and dairy products
• live plants and bulbs
• prohibited and restricted seeds
• unidentified seeds (including spices)
• live animals (including pets) that require an import permit
• biological products including some plant based, herbal medications
• unprocessed goods of plant or animal origin
• soiled goods, or goods containing organic residues
• goods knowingly infested with pests or a disease.
• No fresh food is allowed.
• No open packets of foods such as dried foods.
• Fridges containing CFCs or hydrochlorofluorocarbons
• Air conditioners containing CFCs or hydrochlorofluorocarbons
• Motor vehicles containing CFCs or hydrochlorofluorocarbons
• Any equipment whatsoever that contains CFCs or hydrochlorofluorocarbons

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