Are You Confused About What Wooden Household Item You Can Take With You to Australia?

This post is another from an SMG reader email. You'll notice that she is an Australian expat moving back home and she is not moving to Sydney.

As far as quarantine restrictions go for shipping items, it doesn't matter where in Australia you are moving to because the quarantine restrictions are the same for the whole country.

Laura has searched all over about shipping her wicker and wood furniture to Australia but wasn't able to get a definite yes or no answer.

I did my best in my reply to her to point her in the right direction for where she can find answers to her questions.

Here's Laura's question.

Shipping Wood and Wicker Furniture to Australia.

We are in the process of moving to Brisbane, Australia. I have been doing research and found tons of info, but not clear, more contradictory at times.

I am getting confused as to what to bring as most of our household items were purchased overseas during our years abroad as expats. ie: wickers, carved furniture, masks, etc.

Will there be a surprise upon claiming our belonging once in Australia?

Where to find answers when it comes to Australian Quarantine restrictions.

First, I have two posts on what to pack and what not to pack.

Second, if you need to dive into the details to find an answer about a specific item you want to ship then you'll need to head over to Australia's Department of Agriculture website.

Since Laura emailed me with her question and I didn't want to leave her hanging, I went ahead and did a more detailed search on the DOA's site.

What the Department of Agriculture's says about shipping plant-based homewares to Australia.

According to the Department of Agriculture, when it comes to shipping plant-based homewares to Australia, you may have to treat them prior to shipping or Australian Quarantine will treat them when they arrive.

Here's what the DOA website says:

Common Plant Articles

  • Many articles have components made of other plant materials such as wicker, cane, and rattan
  • Wicker and willow articles require mandatory treatment offshore or inspection and treatment on arrival
  • Cane and rattan articles may be treated offshore or may be inspected and/or treated on arrival.

Wooden Items

  • Many articles have wooden components such as high quality furniture, frames for woven furniture, picture frames, tool handles, and those made from composite wood material
  • All wooden items must be free of bark (i.e. the external natural growth layer covering trees and branches)
  • The manufacturing process and the species of the timber are considered in determining the biosecurity risk posed
  • Wooden items may be subject to mandatory treatment or inspection on arrival depending on the country of origin and the manufacturing processes
  • Where a manufacturing process addresses pest and disease concerns goods may be granted a low risk status under the Wooden articles import permit requirements. The Wooden articles import permit requirements allows for facilitated clearance of imported consignments.

As far as treatment of your wicker items, I'm not really sure what they mean exactly or how you are to prove that they have been treated.

For these answers, I would ask the international shippers you are using for your move. If they have any experience with shipping household items to Australia they will know the answer to this. Might actually be a good litmus test for finding good movers.

I would also make use of the Department of Agriculture's contact form and ask them since they are the ones that will be inspecting your shipment.

Give them a few days to answer. Other SMG readers have heard back within two days.

A third option is‘s message boards. You can either search for Australia or simply ask your questions there directly.

Several international shippers are part of the message boards and sometimes you can luck out and get them to answer your questions. It's also a great place to suss out qualified international movers.

How's that? Clear things up some?

We had a few surprises when our shipment arrived in Australia. We thought we did everything correctly; over labeled boxes, got rid of almost everything that was plant-related, cleaned and re-cleaned our camping gear.

Still they destroyed two pairs of shoes that I swear didn't have any “foreign” dirt on them.

So as far as surprises, there are no guarantees.

BTW, they charged us for destroying our shoes. Mentioning that because, if your furniture needs to be treated upon arrival, expect to be charged for it.

If you are in the beginning stages of getting your shipment together, I have several posts about what to look for and a three-part series where I breakdown one of our shipping quotes, covering what is covered in the rate and what charges and fees you will be responsible for when your shipment arrives in Australia. You can find all of those posts here.

What Are You Shipping to Sydney When You Move?

Do you know yet?

The truth is you don’t need to know right now, for sure, what’s going with you.

But you have to get your shipping quote ASAP, especially now.

Why? Because international shipping companies need to schedule your shipment to Australia far in advance, some ask for 6 months in advance. Yes, COVID has changed everything, including international shipping.

When filling out the contact form below…

  1. You don’t need a street address for where you’re moving to, only the city and country. What they really want to know is the major shipping port.
  2. You don’t need exact dates right now. Go with your best guess.
  3. Don’t bother with calculating your volume. Use one of the estimates below for your estimated volume.
    • Studio or 1 Bedroom —> 20 m3
    • 2 Bedroom —> 25 m3
    • 3 Bedroom —> 30 m3
    • 4 Bedroom or 3 Bedroom + Car —> 50 m3
  4. Use your “real” contact details for BOTH phone and email. Yes, the form is secure. If you don’t use your real contact details, then they can’t get in touch with you for your quote. Makes sense, right?

International Movers Contact Form

⏱️ Give the form a second to load.