This week’s Mailbox Monday post is about what you can and cannot import into Australia.

Laura has searched all over about shipping her wicker and wood furniture to Australia but wasn’t able to get a definite yes/no answer. She is also taking her Golden Retriever with her to Australia and was getting confused with all the different points of view online for taking pets into the country.

I did my best to point her in the right direction of answers to her questions.

Today’s Question:

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.

We are also bringing our pet, Golden Retriever of 1 yr…. info online is vague, misleading and confusing. One site, you can bring it, another site, not allowed.

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

Lauren’s Reply

It’s best to go straight to the source for info but even then it’s hard to find specific answers.

Moving to Australia with Pets

The Australian Department of Agriculture has a “step-by-step” guide for dogs that is completely overwhelming and will take sometime to go through.

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Looks like you’re in Canada, is that right? The pdf is for those moving from the USA to AU so keep that in mind when you go through it.

There is also an ebook by Karen Kiernan of for $18.90AUD where she goes through the process of importing pets to Australia plus covers other things pet owners will need to know about Australia.

The big bonus is at the end of Karen’s ebook where she openly asks for your questions about moving with pets and has her email address listed there. I would definitely take advantage of that. Karen uses to provide services helping with importing pets into Australia but since the quarantine rules have changed she no longer is able to do this for pet owners.

Ok, I think that should help out with moving your Golden Retriever to Australia.

Shipping Your Wood and Wicker Furniture to Australia.

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

According to the Department of Agriculture website, 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:

Other 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.
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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?

For surprises once 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.

What Are Mailbox Mondays?

Every Monday I pick a question from an SMG newsletter subscriber along with my reply straight out of my inbox to share with everyone here on the site.

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I don’t promise to have all the answers, but I will do my best to point you in the right direction or help you with your research as I know there is a lot of noise out there on the interwebs and good resources are hard to find.

Do you have a question about your move to Australia?

Subscribe to the SMG newsletter above and just hit reply on any of the emails from me and ask.