What You Can and Cannot Bring With You When Moving to Australia

by | Mar 9, 2017 | Packing & Shipping

Australia's Strict Regulations

Before moving to Australia, most have already heard of Australia's strict regulations.

With the lure of sunshine, lower cost of living and a lifestyle in the great outdoors, Australia wins hands down. It’s no surprise that an average of 30,000 Brits a year move to Australia, in the past 30 years.

However, all expats will know that before arriving in Australia, there are some tough rules and regulations around what you can and can’t bring into the country. If you’ve ever seen Nothing To Declare, a TV programme that follows Australian Border Security, you’ll have seen that even the most honest of souls can end up with something deemed ‘suspicious’ in their backpack.

Plan your move months in advance.

Bananas? Spices? A Yucca plant? All seemingly harmless in origin but Australia’s strict controls on importing things such as fresh fruit and vegetables can be enough to have your luggage searched (and there you were just trying to embrace the healthy Australian lifestyle!).

Before you start unpacking and panicking, there are a few simple ways to avoid any embarrassment.

At PSS International Removals, we like to discuss moves 4-6 months prior to your departure and will be able to tell you exactly what you can and can’t take to Australia. A basic list of goods that are prohibited can be seen on our website here.

Prepare for quarantine inspection.

Start thinking about what needs to be cleaned before you start packing for your move to Australia.

It’s worth noting that whilst packing up your household goods, they may need to be cleaned and completely free of any unwanted dust, grass, or soil. Your international removalists will be able to advise you on the necessity to plan ahead with certain belongings. Also checkout, 31 questions to ask when you get your Australia shipping quote.

The guidelines from the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources are clear and precise on how they expect products such as lawnmowers and hoovers to be packed and delivered.

They recommend travellers empty, drain, clean and dry the following:

  • All used equipment and machinery – drain all standing water, and ensure the equipment (e.g. barbeques, lawnmowers and quad bikes) is free from contamination
  • Garden furniture, fencing, pots and ornaments, outdoor toys, tools and implements
  • Animal beds and bedding, cages, tanks, saddlery and grooming equipment
  • Waste bins, brooms, vacuum cleaners
  • Kitchenware
  • Freshwater sporting equipment
  • Camping and sporting equipment
  • Carpets, rugs and mats – vacuum

What you cannot bring on your person.

In terms of personal effects, the guidelines from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have a very specific list of the dos and don’ts of fruit and seed trafficking into Oz.

The following cannot be brought into the country as personal effects:

  1. fresh fruit and vegetables
  2. live plants and bulbs
  3. prohibited and restricted seeds
  4. unidentified seeds (including spices)
  5. live animals (including pets) that require an import permit
  6. biological products including some plant based, herbal medications
  7. unprocessed goods of plant or animal origin
  8. soiled goods, or goods containing organic residues
  9. goods knowingly infested with pests or a disease.

Restricted wooden items and products with plant material.

It’s also essential that any timber or wooden items are checked before transportation, including toys and instruments. Products containing plant material also need to be thoroughly examined. This can mean anything from decorations, potpourri, and jewelry so be clued up before you make the trip across the globe.

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Australia Moving Checklist

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Transferring Money to Australia from Overseas

Lock-In Your Exchange Rate

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International Moving Companies

Have You Started Packing Yet?

No, not yet? Still got several months to go? Ok, but have you at least started thinking about what you're taking? Maybe even started a list? The truth is you don’t need to know what's going with you before getting your shipping quote. Why? Scheduling a shipment to Australia can take as long as 6 months.

Moving to Australia Banking for Expats

Open Your Bank Account

In 5 minutes or less, you can open both a checking and savings account BEFORE you move to Australia. There are only 3 things you need to get started.
1. Your passport and visa details.
2. Know where you're going to live.
3. Be arriving within the next 3 months.

*This link will take you to Commonwealth Bank of Australia's special accounts for newly arriving expats and migrants. Commonwealth Bank is a sponsoring partner of Sydney Moving Guide.

Hi, I’m Lauren.

Lauren Owner of Sydney Moving GuideAnd I’ve helped thousands of people from all over the world move to Australia since starting my blog back in 2009. You can read more about me here, but Sydney Moving Guide isn’t about me. IT’S ABOUT YOU. So, I have one question for you. How can I help you with your move to Australia? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to grab my moving checklist before you go.