How to import goods to Australia

​​​​Before you import

Before you import goods to Australia, it is important that you understand your responsibilities as an importer and the import conditions that may apply to your goods. Complying with these requirements can reduce costly delays and help keep biosecurity risks offshore.

See what import conditions apply to your goods.

Preparing for import

Before your goods leave the country of export, they should be packaged and treated to meet Australia’s import requirements. There are a number of steps to follow to make sure your goods are cleared with minimal delay.

Find out how to prepare your goods and packaging for import.

Sending your goods to Australia

When planning to import cargo, you will need to ensure that the airport or seaport of first arrival is approved to land your cargo.

You are also required to provide information to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and to the Department of Home Affairs about your goods.

Plan an arrival destination and documentation for your goods.

Arrival of goods in Australia

Inspection of containers is conducted on a risk-based approach, focusing on pathways that the department has assessed to be higher risk pathways for pests and diseases.

Goods arriving from high risk ports or destined for unpack in rural areas required increased inspection.

Check if your goods or containers will have to be inspected.

Clearance and inspection of goods

The department will issue the importer with a directive that goods are released from biosecurity control or if any actions are required; for example inspection, treatment, isolation, hold pending further information or insect identification. Third parties who have entered into arrangements with the department supply biosecurity services to importers of goods when they arrive in Australia.

Learn more about inspection and treatment processes.

Last reviewed: 4 February 2020
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