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Moving to Australia


Capital: Canberra
Population: 23.6 million (2014)
Area: 2,969,907 square miles
Top 5 Largest Cities: 1. Sydney 2. Melbourne 3. Brisbane 4. Perth 5. Adelaide
Lanuage: English
Climate: Temperate

Looking to move to Australia with your household goods and personal effects? You've come to the right place! Nationwide Van Lines has every bit of professionalism needed to successfully transport your important goods overseas. We will even provide you with some important information to help better prepare you for your trip. When it comes to using Nationwide Van Lines, you’re never alone

Required Documents for Import

Assuring all of your documents are correctly filled and turned in may be one of the most challenging part of your household overseas move. We’ve made the process easier by providing you with the most common documents needed to clear Customs. Please take a look below to help prepare yourself for your upcoming paperwork.

Import Declaration – A document stating the household goods being shipped.

Certificate of Origin – Gives verification of which country your household goods are manufactured in.

Original Customs Form B534 Unaccompanied Effects Form - This form is for any unaccompanied goods you wish to send.

Authority to Act Form – Authorizes another party to act as you at the destination for clearance.

Import Requirements and Documentation

India Customs want each and every shipment to have all the requirements satisfied in a timely matter. Below, you will find great information to assist you in your preparation:

  • Your Visa or E-Visa if not a Australian or New Zealand citizen
  • Original Bill of Lading
  • Incoming Passenger Card
  • Copy of your Passport
  • Alcohol inventory if alcohol is present in your HHHGS shipment
  • Packing List of items that are packed
  • Inventory List in English

Additional detailed document requirements

  • Your destination agent can clear your Household goods (HHGS) shipment if you completed the B534 and none of your HHGS are dutiable.
  • Any HHGS that are not owned or used for at least a year requires its receipts.
  • Your Bill of Lading must be at the point of destination no less than 7 days before your vessel reaches Australia.
  • Expect your HHGS shipment Custom clearance to take 10 to 21 working days.
  • Alcohol is subject to duties and taxes accumulating to 50% of the price of purchase.

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your household goods have arrived in Australia along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A CBP officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It’s important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers.

Duty and Taxes

Your main responsibility for completely clearing Customs is to pay the appropriate duties and taxes. Duties can range from 0 – 17%. Your Goods and Service Tax (GST), also known as Value-Added Tax (VAT), will amount to 10%. HHGS and personal effects are duty-free if you’ve owned and used your HHGS for no less than a year before you decide to export them. Below, you will find items that may be duty-free if within the restrictions.

Duty-free Items

India Customs allow certain items to be imported duty-free for non-residents whom are 18 years or older. Please familiarize yourself below of the duty-free.

  • 50 cigarettes, 50 grams cigars or 50 grams of tobacco
  • Personal hygiene and clothing (no perfumes or fur apparel)
  • 2 .25 liters of alcoholic beverages
  • Medicines if your stay is no less than 24 hours up to 6 months for 1 visit a month
  • Goods up to the value of $785.13 USD if 18 or over the age of 18 and $392.56 USD if under the age of 18.

Labeling and Marking Requirements

The correct labeling and markings are very important for Customs. Each mark and label should be in the English language. Please take a look below to discover the marking and labeling requirements.

  • The name and address of the importer
  • The country of Origin
  • Clearly numbered in reflection of the inventory list
  • The quantity

Prohibited Items

There are certain items Customs will not pass through clearance. These items are prohibited due to the sake of the community, economy and environment. Please take a look below to learn about what is not permitted into Australia.

  • Dairy
  • Grains, seeds, beans, etc.
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Items with the image of the Australian national flag and coat of arms or an imagine of the Australian state or territory flags and coat of arms
  • Obscene articles, publications, videos and/or software’s
  • Performance drugs
  • Plastic explosives
  • Cat or dog fur products
  • Chemical weapons
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Terphenyls and Polyphenyls
  • Meat
  • Pesticides
  • Anything that helps deplete the Ozone or emits synthetic greenhouse gases
  • Mosquito bats
  • Knives and daggers
  • Incandescent lamps and bulbs
  • Hydrofluorocarbons
  • Antibiotics
  • Asbestos
  • Glazed ceramic ware
  • Laser pointers
  • Fish
  • Radioactive substances and materials
  • ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.) advertising materials
  • Animals and products made of them
  • Hazardous
  • Plants or its parts and soil
  • Electronic flyswatters
  • Binder material
  • Therapeutic drugs and substances
  • Firearms and it’s parts, accessories, magazine, ammunition, ammunition components and replicas
  • Growth hormones
  • Pencils and paintbrushes with a coating containing an excessive amount of toxic compounds.
  • Novelty money
  • Dog collars that punctures or bruise animal skin
  • Veterinary products
  • Novelty erasers with the look or scent of food.
  • Defensive goods
  • Woolpacks
  • Substances that derive from humans or animals
  • Only rough diamonds in tamper proof containers that are a part of the countries participating in the Kimberley Process. Will require a Kimberley Process Certificate.
  • Crowd control equipment
  • Counterfeit credit cards
  • Strategic goods
  • Cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises)
  • Image-enhancing drugs
  • Trade Practices Act goods

Restricted Items

There are many items with slight exceptions that can be shipped. Please take a look at the list below to discover some of the exceptions.

  • Fresh vegetables and fruit cannot be packed in fruit boxes.
  • Firearms have very particular restrictions and needs approval by the Police Department to obtain a “shooters license”.
  • Endangered animals listed in the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
  • Heritage-listed goods from Papua New Guinea requires permission from the Trustees of the Papua New Guinea Public Museum and Art Gallery.
  • Unmanufactured tobacco
  • High explosives with a vapor pressure less than 10.4 PA and at a temperature of 25 degree Celsius.
  • No more than $10,000 AUD in currency
  • Boxes coated with more than 90 kg of lead
  • If arriving by ship or air, drugs and narcotics must be for personal use, prescribed by a doctor, in English or translated to English, no more than 3 month’s supply and within your personal baggage accompanying you.
  • Toys containing an excess amount of toxic compounds
  • Military vehicles, its equipment and spare parts, weapons and ammunition from Libya, North Korea, Eritrea and Iran requires permission
  • from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for import.
  • Radio transmitters, citizen band radios, and cordless phones must be approved by the Department of Transport and Communication.
  • Up to 5 lighters and must be 18 or older.
  • Kava must be in root or dried matter, cannot exceed 2 kilograms and within a personal bag of a person 18 years old or more.
  • Cosmetics and toxic materials containing no more than 250 kg of lead yet can contain more than 250 kg of lead acetate for hair products.
  • No more than 1.5 kilograms of chewing tobacco and snuff
  • Medication or substances that can be misused or abused requires a prescription.
  • Weapons will have to go through a safety check for clearance.
  • Alcohol must have the percentage, volume, value and listed on a separate inventory sheet.

Receiving your Household Goods

The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If household goods are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

For more information regarding moving to Australia, please visit the websites below:
Canberra - National and Regional Head Office Customs House
5 Constitution Avenue
Telephone: 1300 558 287
Facsimile: 02 6275 5930

All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.