Importing wooden and bamboo articles for non-commercial (personal) use

​​1. Import conditions – identify and comply

All wooden, bamboo and similar articles imported for personal use are subject to import conditions, whether imported as passenger luggage, through the mail, via a courier service or through freig​ht. For some products, import conditions for personal use differ to those for goods imported on a commercial basis. These differences are set out in the department's Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) system​.

Launch Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON)

Graphic image of the BICON launch button

Imported articles need to be clean, free of bark, insects, soil or other contaminants (look for holes and sawdust as this may indicate that your article contains insect pests). You need to comply with all conditions in BICON before importing a product. The types of timber, wooden articles, bamboo, and related products​ page directs you to the appropriate import conditions for different products.

2. Declare it

All wooden, bamboo and related articles entering Australia must be declared to a departmental officer on arrival, whether or not you believe you have complied with all import conditions. How you import the item will determine how you declare it.

In your luggage

If you are bringing timber and wooden related articles with you on an international flight or ship you must declare these items on your ‘incoming passenger’ card.

Through the mail

Items being imported through mail must be clearly labelled with the contents of the parcel, box, or commercial invoice (if applicable).

Through cargo

Items being imported through cargo must be clearly labelled with the contents of the parcel, box, or commercial invoice (if applicable). You will be required to provide a detailed packing list (for example, if you have ‘furniture’ you should declare what the furniture is made up of e.g. ‘wooden furniture’).

For more information see: 

3. Inspection at the border

Items will need an inspection by a departmental officer on arrival to ensure they are free from biosecurity risk material (such as insect infestation and bark).

If biosecurity risk materials are identified during inspection, then your products will be withheld. Depending on the biosecurity risk, you may be able to:

  • have the item treated at your cost (see approved treatments for more information) *
  • store the item at the airport for collection when you leave Australia (if imported as accompanying a passenger on a flight) *
  • export the item * or
  • have the item destroyed by the department.

 * These options are subject to fees, and conditions may apply.

Note: personal consignments imported as freight will require inspection to be booked and will be subject to inspection fees (for more information see Moving to Australia or importing personal effects/household goods).

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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