Preparing your personal effects for shipment to Australia

​​Some personal effects have the potential to bring pests or disease into Australia and need to be declared.

The list below is designed to assist you identify which goods may be of biosecurity concern and may require cleaning or treatment prior to release. If this is not possible, the items may need to be destroyed or exported at your expense.

Category Items
Animal equipment including, but not limited to:
  • animal beds, bedding, and baskets
  • animal grooming equipment, leads and/or restraints, saddlery, and other tack
  • fish tanks and equipment, fish food, aquarium rocks
  • pet cages
  • pet food, naturopathic supplements, medicines, bowls, mats, utensils, and storage containers
  • pet-wear, toys, and rawhide chews
  • portable and electronic fencing.
Artefacts/Furnishings/Ornaments/Souvenirs including, but not limited to:
  • animal products such as bones, antlers, feathers, animal hair and hide
  • beads, necklaces made of plant/animal material
  • carpets, mats, rugs
  • commercially manufactured musical instruments such as pianos, clarinets, oboes, violins, guitars.
  • dried plant products such as banana products, photo albums, hats, bags, mats, baskets.
  • fossils, rocks, sand, shells, soil, stones
  • non-commercially manufactured musical instruments such as rawhide drums, rainmakers, maracas, pan pipes.
  • plant products including bark, seeds, potpourri, dried flower arrangements, sphagnum moss, natural stems
  • pillows, including Thai pillows containing plant/animal material
  • sand, seeds or soil used as a filling
  • statues made of clay or compressed sand
  • wooden spears, bows and arrows.
Camping equipment including, but not limited to:
  • backpacks/day packs
  • boots, climbing implements
  • camping chairs
  • hiking/walking sticks
  • picnic baskets, cooler box/esky
  • picnic rugs, groundsheets
  • tents, tent poles, tent pegs.
Clothing including, but not limited to:
  • farm/outdoor clothes
  • footwear such as gumboots, footwear with wooden components
  • hats made of straw or other plant material.
Farm goods, vehicles and motorised equipment including but not limited to:
  • all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), quad bikes, motorcycles
  • carts, horse floats
  • farm equipment
  • jet skis, motorboats, outboard motors (must be dry)
  • non-machinery and non-fuel-operated items used in and around farms
  • toolboxes, generators
  • tyres.
Festive decorations including, but not limited to:
  • blown eggs
  • Christmas trees, real or artificial
  • conifer items, pinecones
  • dried holly, sphagnum moss, vines, wreaths
  • seed pods, straw.
Garden equipment, garden furniture and tools including, but not limited to:
  • any plant material
  • barbeques/grills
  • fertiliser, garden seeds
  • fountains, statues
  • garden tools and implements
  • lawnmowers, ride-on mowers, and catchers
  • outdoor tables and chairs
  • plant pots
  • sheds
  • used tools
  • waste bins
  • wheelbarrows
  • whipper snippers, weed eaters
  • wine barrels.
General items including, but not limited to:
  • brooms, dustpan, and brushes
  • vacuum cleaners and bags
  • waste bins.
Kitchen - all food and pantry items including, but not limited to:
  • all fresh foods such as potatoes, onions, garlic
  • dried/dehydrated food items such as herbs, teas, rice
  • pre-packaged food such as snacks, protein powders and supplements.
Kitchenware including, but not limited to:
  • flat-packed prefabricated kitchens
  • food containers, kitchen utensils
  • large appliances such as refrigerators, freezers
  • small appliances such as bread makers, food processors, toasters
  • wooden items such as bowls, placemats, coasters, utensils, cutting boards, knife blocks, pots, pans etc.
Miscellaneous goods including
  • goods not legibly described or without adequate description. For example: labelled ‘PBO’, ‘stuff’, ‘gear’, ‘Tote’, ‘Misc’ or ‘equipment’
  • goods that have not been itemised.
Sporting goods and playground equipment including, but not limited to:
  • bicycles, tricycles, scooters
  • cubby houses, sand boxes/sandpits
  • hockey sticks, cricket sets, racquets, pool cues, golf clubs, shuttlecocks
  • sand-filled weights, punching bags
  • seesaws, slippery dips/slides, swings, trampolines
  • sporting footwear such as football, cricket or golf shoes
  • fishing equipment/fishing tackle such as feather fish flies, lines, rods and tackle boxes
  • kayaks
  • wetsuits and diving equipment.

Sporting goods or equipment that have been in contact with fresh water must be dry on arrival.
Toys including, but not limited to:
  • toys filled with sand, soil, seed and/or water
  • toys with wooden components, including rocking horses, skateboards.
Wooden items including, but not limited to:
  • antique furniture
  • baskets such as cane/wicker laundry baskets
  • brushes, jewellery boxes
  • carvings, statues made of wood, totem poles, bamboo products such as wind chimes
  • dowel
  • furniture such as bamboo, banana leaf, cane, rattan, timber, water hyacinth, wicker, willow or furniture parts
  • logs, sawn timber
  • picture frames
  • plywood and veneer
  • sawdust, wood pieces, wood shavings
  • timber mouldings.

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What should I do if bringing in unaccompanied personal effects?

The following checklist is designed to help returning residents or new residents of Australia to prepare their goods prior to packing, so clearance delays and costs can be minimised once the goods arrive in Australia.

  1. ​Consult the following web pages:
  2. Complete your Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement (B534) and declare goods of concern.
    • TheB534 form is located in a variety of languages.
    • You or your agent should record the box numbers for any declared risk items so they can be easily located for the inspection. This will reduce your inspection time and costs.
    • Failure to declare risk items on the B534 can lead to prosecution under Australian legislation.
  3. Clean all risk items that you wish to transport to Australia to ensure they are not contaminated with animal or plant material, insects or soil. This includes:
    • outdoor toys; such as sandpits, pedal cars, toy trucks
    • outdoor furniture, outdoor pots, statues and water fountains
    • lawn mowers, garden equipment/ornaments, shovels
    • footwear - shoes, boots, football boots (pack them in the same boxes)
    • pushbikes, motorbikes and quad bikes
    • sporting equipment including gym/exercise weights
    • barbecues, oven grills and cook tops
    • camping equipment
    • vacuum cleaner bag - ensure it is empty and clean
    • rubbish bins
    • animal cages and bedding, fish tanks
    • carpets, rugs, mats - ensure they have been vacuumed
    • horse equipment (check BICON for import conditions)
  4. Clearly record what is in each box on the packing list.
    • When you or your removalist record items on the list, include what the goods are made from; for example metal bed frame, wooden chair(s), plastic picture frames, cane basket.
  5. Number the packing boxes and match the numbers on your packing list.
    • It is better not to use second hand boxes or bags that have previously been used to carry animal and plant material and soil; for example, fruit and vegetable cartons, meat boxes, egg cartons and fertiliser bags.

Tips for wooden items and goods including plant material

  1. Timber / wooden furniture: check for small holes or frass/shavings und​er the items as this may indicate wood borers are present. If live timber pests are found on arrival, the furniture will require treatment at your expense.
  2. Heat bags: check to see what they are filled with and record this on the packing list. Treatment may be required if they are filled with seeds or plant material.
  3. Decorations, artefacts, ornaments, picture frames, photo albums, handmade paper, pot pourri, dried flowers: check for plant material; for example, pine cones, vines, moss, flowers, leaves, seeds and bark, as it may require treatment or destruction at your expense. 
    • Christmas decorations containing plant material are one of the most common items volunteered for destruction at the owner’s expense.

Tips for other goods

  1. Foods: check import conditions on the department’s BICON system. Some foods are permitted but others may be prohibited or require treatment.
  2. Pet food and medicine: check import conditions on BICON. They may require an import permit.
  3. Animal skins or rawhide items: check import conditions on BICON. They may require treatment.
  4. High-risk plant products: check the khapra beetle urgent actions webpage for a list of products that are not permitted. 
Last reviewed: 23 June 2021
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