Customs regulations for your trip to Australia

Last modified: May 16, 2022
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Import regulations:

Free import if goods are carried by passenger:

Group 1:
General goods not exceeding AUD 900 for passengers aged 18 years and over (AUD 450.- for persons under 18 years of age), including gifts, souvenirs, cameras, electronic equipment, leather goods, perfume concentrates, jewellery, watches and sporting equipment.
Personal goods are free from duty and tax if they are:
-owned and used by passenger overseas for 12 months or more.
-imported temporarily (a security may be required by Customs).

Group 2 – alcohol: 2.25 liters of alcoholic beverages per person aged 18 years or over;

Group 3 – tobacco: 25 cigarettes or 25 grams of cigars or tobacco products per person aged 18 years or over.

Note: There are penalties for not declaring prohibited and restricted goods and for making false declarations on you incoming or outgoing passenger card. For further details please refer to www.abf.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/duty-free

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

Declaration required for all firearms, weapons and ammunition including real and replica firearms and BB air guns, knives and electric shock devices. Some items require a permit and police authorization. Weapons and ammunition can be carried as checked baggage with the knowledge and consent of the airline.

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Overview

Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPEs) include your household and personal items that you are importing into Australia but that arrive separately to you.

UPEs may arrive in Australia by air, sea cargo or by international mail (post).

Typically, UPEs include clothing and footwear, personal hygiene and grooming items, furniture, appliances, sporting equipment and books.

The following items are not UPEs:

If you are eligible for a concession, your UPEs may be cleared from customs control without requiring you to pay customs duty, goods and services tax (GST) or other taxes and charges.

An Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement (B534 Form) (290KB PDF), rather than an Import Declaration, is generally used to clear UPEs from customs control. This form is available in other languages but must be completed in English.

See information below on clearing personal effects.

Concessions

You may not have to pay customs duty and GST if you meet certain eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for the UPE concession you must have arrived on a ship or aircraft from a place outside Australia, meet permanent residency requirements and the goods must be:

  • your personal property
  • suitable and intended for use by you in Australia
  • personally owned and used overseas by you for a specified length of time. Generally, this is 12 months prior to your departure for Australia.

You will not receive a concession for:

  • motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts
  • tobacco and tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, or other products containing tobacco)
  • alcoholic beverages.

Note: The duty free concessions that apply to alcoholic beverages and tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars or other products containing tobacco) that are carried with you when you arrive in Australia do not apply to UPEs. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products that arrive in Australia as UPEs, will be assessed for duty, GST and/or wine equalisation tax.

Clearing personal effects

To clear your UPEs, you must complete and lodge an Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement (B534 Form) (290KB PDF). This statement is a legal declaration made to both the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (Agriculture).

The Unaccompanied Personal Effects statement (B534 Form) is available in other languages but must be completed in English.

There are two ways you can lodge an Unaccompanied Personal Effects statement.

Option 1 – In person at one of our offices

To lodge the statement in person at a Department of Home Affairs counter you will be required to undergo an Evidence of Identity (EOI) check.

In addition to the documents required for the EOI check, you will need to bring the following with you:

  • a completed and signed Unaccompanied Personal Effects statement
  • any permits for the goods
  • a delivery order from the shipper, or other shipping document that identifies the owner and shows the address of the owner of the UPEs
  • a list of all the goods included in the UPEs such as a packing list
  • any receipts or evidence of the value of goods owned for less than 12 months (if applicable).

If you are unable to lodge the form yourself, you can arrange for a representative such as a friend or relative to lodge the form on your behalf. Your representative will also need to provide a copy of their passport photo page that shows their signature.

The Department may ask for further information to assist in the UPEs clearance process.

Option 2 – Lodging electronically via the Integrated Cargo System (ICS)

If you are using a customs broker or other service provider, they may lodge the Unaccompanied Personal Effects statement on your behalf through the Department’s Integrated Cargo System. All the documents listed above will still be required and further information may be requested but you won’t need to attend a departmental counter.

Your customs broker or other service provider will be able to advise you on any fees that may be applicable.

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

All consignments of UPEs will be subject to some form of biosecurity inspection, conducted by Agriculture, before the goods will be released to you.

Agriculture has information on their website about importing personal effects/household goods including tips for cleaning your goods before you pack them and Agriculture’s fees and charges.

Documents Required

Import Requirements and Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has sole jurisdiction to clear imports. Local importers are responsible for obtaining formal customs clearance for goods.

While there are several methods of valuing goods for customs purposes, the method most frequently applied (transaction value) is based on the price actually paid (or payable) for the imported goods subject to certain adjustments. A major condition for using the transaction value is that there is no relationship between the buyer and seller that may influence the price. Valuation of imported goods can be complex, and importers are urged to seek advice from a customs broker or to contact a Customs Information Centre. The Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia posts a list of members on the website

Customs does not require companies or individuals to hold import licenses, but importers may need to obtain permits to clear the goods. The minimum amount of documentation required for customs clearance comprises a completed Customs Entry or Informal Clearance Document (ICD), an air waybill (AWB) or bill of lading (BLAD), as well as invoices and other documents relating to the importation. Customs does not require the completion of a special form of invoice. Normal commercial invoices, bills of lading, and receipts are acceptable. These documents should contain the following information: invoice terms (e.g., FOB, CIF) name and address of the seller of the goods (Consignor) monetary unit referred to on invoice (e.g. AUD, USD), and country of origin.

Some authorities that issue import permits publish brochures/pamphlets that explain their areas of concern. However, these agency publications may not always reflect current customs legislation and procedures as they are often modified. It would be advisable to contact a Customs Information Center to check these issues.

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