Importing timber, wooden articles, bamboo and related products

​​​​​​​​​​​​Import conditions

All imported timber, wooden articles, bamboo and related products (whether for commercial or personal use) must comply with the import conditions as stated on the department's Biosecurity Import Conditions sys​tem (BICON)

Launch Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON)

Graphic image of the BICON launch button

It is the responsibility ​ of importer​s to ensure that their products meet the import conditions. Failing to meet import conditions may result in delays, additional costs, and, in some cases, the re-export or destruction of the goods at the importers expense.

The types of timber, wooden articles, bamboo, and related products page has product definitions and links to the applicable import conditions in BICON for different types of timber, wooden articles, bamboo and related products.

The import conditions set out in BICON include requirements for you to demonstrate that pest risks are mitigated through the manufacturing process or through approved treatments. The department verifies that biosecurity risks have been adequately addressed by assessing evidence of compliance in documentation and/or by inspecting the goods when they arrive in Australia.

For more information on biosecurity requirements for imported timber, wooden articles, bamboo and related products see:

Requirements relating to illegal logging

For timber and timber products, you may also be required to take steps to ensure that the wood is low risk of having been illegally logged. Further information on due diligence requirements can be found on the department’s illegal logging webpage​.

Complying with import conditions is im​portant 

The​ import conditions set out in BICON protect Australia from exotic pests and other biosecurity risks. Australia enjoys freedom from many of the world’s most damaging pests and diseases. There are many exotic pests and insects that could hitch a ride to Australia in timber, bamboo, wooden related products, and packaging and on cargo containers.

Even products that appear outwardly to be clean may harbour biosecurity risks because many timber pests occur within wood and can be very difficult to detect in their egg or larval stage. If these pests establish in Australia they could have a detrimental impact on our agriculture and forestry industries, natural environment, food security, timber in service (furniture, houses) and economy.

Report signs of pests in imported ti​​mber

Everyone in the supply and retail chain has a role in recognising and reporting any signs of pest activity in imported timber and wooden related products, including furniture. It is possible for exotic pests that arrive in timber products in the egg or larvae stage to go unnoticed for many years until frass (a sawdust-like substance produced by feeding wood boring insects) or holes appear.

It is important that goods in storage are regularly checked for insects or pest activity even after being released from biosecurity control, as it can take time for infestation to appear.

Things to look and listen for include:

  • insect or larvae activity
  • rasping noise coming from the wood
  • sudden appearance of holes
  • dust or sawdust (frass) which keeps returning.

Read more about exotic pests that may arrive in imported timber and timber products.

If you suspect anything unusual in imported timber and wooden related products, report a biosecurity concern online or on 1800 798 636.​​

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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