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Whether you are returning to Australia, or going there for the first time, there will inevitable be questions that you would like answered prior to your move. The following guide will hopefully provide you with the information you need for exporting household goods and personal effects from Ireland. This guide should help you understand what happens when you ship your goods to Australia, and tells you of procedures once your shipment arrives at the destination port. We accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy of whatever nature.

Arrival in Australia

As soon as we load either a groupage or exclusive container, we send a notify to our agent in Australia who performs the destination services. They will tell you when your shipment is due to arrive. On arrival at the port of entry the container will be collected by our agent, hauled to their depot and unloaded into their Customs bonded store, where the shipments will undergo Customs and Quarantine clearance. Deliveries to the main metropolitan areas usually take place between 7 and 14 days after arrival at the port, assuming you have supplied all the documents required for Customs and Quarantine clearance.

Deliveries to other destinations take a bit longer, but our agents will keep in touch with you and will make arrangements with you for a suitable delivery date. Shipments for the Northern Territories go via Adelaide and those for Tasmania via Melbourne. Once cleared, shipments for Tasmania are moved to a depot in either Hobart or Launceston for further distribution. In all cases, shipments must clear Customs and Quarantine at the initial port of entry.

Freight charges

It is to your advantage to ship your goods on a door to door basis. This means you do not have to pay again in Australia for terminal handling, container uplift, unloading, Customs clearance and the final delivery to your residence. If you have paid to arrival port only, you will have to pay these charges to our agent at destination. We are a bulk buyer of destination services, and we obtain these services at a rate less than a member of the public can expect to pay.

Consequently, you will find that in most cases it is more expensive to ship to arrival port and then pay destination charges, than it is to pay initially for door to door shipment. Note that the term arrival port is a shipping term that refers to the point to which freight charges have been paid. It does not mean you can collect your goods directly at the port to do your own Customs clearance.

The whole container is consigned to our agent who will unload at their own bond store. If you have paid for a door to door shipment, the costs of uplifting the container from the wharf, Australian terminal handling charge, haulage to depot, unloading, notification, Customs clearance, and delivery to your residence are covered. One destination charge which is not included in a door to door payment and must be paid in Australia is outlined in the next section.

Quarantine Clearance

Australia is free of many of the pests and animal or crop diseases which exist in some other countries. In order to ensure that this remains so, and to protect the livestock and agricultural industries, Australia has a government Quarantine Inspection Service. Consequently, all shipments entering Australia are subject to Quarantine clearance before they can be collected or delivered to residence. Our agents must make an appointment to have Quarantine Inspection Service officers visit their bond store to inspect and clear each shipment.

The Quarantine Inspection Service charges about A$100 per hour to our agents for these visits. These costs, together with those incurred by our agents for their time, attendance and handling, in making the cargo available for inspection are charged to each consignee with goods in the container. The costs are averaged out and charged to consignees starting at A$35 to A$40 for small shipments of up to one cubic meter (35 cubic feet), and go up to around A$220 for a full container load (FCL) household removal. Only a small percentage of containers are directed into quarantine. For this reason Quarantine clearance charge is not covered in your quotation and only if your shipment is directed into quarantine will my agent charge you this fee. All shipments entering Australia are subject to Quarantine clearance. The Quarantine Inspection Service officers decide which shipments require physical examination based on the contents of the shipment as described on your packing list or inventory and Customs form. Failure to supply these documents will mean the goods are automatically inspected. All shipments of over one cubic meter (35 cubic feet) are subject to examination, and others may be selected randomly for inspection. It should be noted that the clearance charge does not include the costs of fumigation or steam-cleaning if either is deemed to be necessary.

Customs Regulations

It is your own responsibility to ensure that you are aware of how current Customs regulations and your own personal circumstances affect the status of your shipment with regard to whether or not you will be liable to pay any duty or taxes on your shipment or certain items in it. At the time of writing, returning Australian residents are entitled to duty free entry on goods which they have owned and used overseas for a period of twelve months or more preceding their departure for Australia. All other items are liable for Customs duty and sales tax, and if a formal Customs entry has to be made, a fee may be charged for this. If you have dutiable goods in your shipment, you may be asked by Customs to supply documentary evidence (sales receipts, invoices, insurance papers, etc.) to ascertain your ownership of the goods, period of ownership, and their value.

People arriving with the status to take up permanent residence for the first time are granted a concession on new goods of A$400 per adult and A$200 per person under 18 years. There is no duty free entitlement for unaccompanied tobacco or alcohol, and there are restrictions or prohibitions on certain other items. Spring-bladed knives, daggers, swordsticks and knuckle-dusters are prohibited, as are cordless telephones unless they comply with Australian technical standards and are approved for use in Australia by the Department of Communications. The importation of firearms (including air, gas, and starting pistols) is restricted, and all weapons must be declared to Customs.

(Please note that the information in this paragraph is given for guidance only, and is not presented as authoritative or complete. You should check with the Australian Customs Service for further information or advice, or for local interpretation of Customs procedures and regulations.)

Customs Clearance

Your shipment must be cleared through Customs before you can take delivery. In order to clear the shipment you will have to complete a packing list or inventory and an Australian Customs form B534 which we will supply you with. Please fill it in carefully and completely. Incorrectly completed, partially completed or unsigned forms will not be accepted for clearance.

When we collect your goods, please hand over the completed Customs form to our driver he/she will make the packing list at your residence.

A copy of your passport will also be required for customs clearance please attach it to the Customs form. We will forward all these documents to our destination agent in advance of the vessel arriving at the port. The agent will present your documents to Customs on your behalf.

Please remember that if you have paid for door to door shipment, the service of Customs clearance is included in the price charged. Any Customs clearance service includes advice, so if you do require any further information or advice on Customs regulations or local clearance procedures, please contact our destination agent. They will be only too happy to give you the benefit of their knowledge, and to offer you their advice and assistance.

Finally, please feel free to call us or our Australian agents if you require further advice on any aspect of your shipment. We are represented in all the main Australian ports by carefully selected reputable agents who are members of the same overseas removals associations as ourselves - BAR Overseas. Please contact our office for full details of our Australian agents.

All information on this page is given for guidance only, and although we believe it to be correct at the time of writing, we do not accept any liability for errors, omissions, inaccuracies or misinterpretation. All charges, regulations and procedures are liable to change without notice. This information does not purport to be provided or sanctioned by the Customs Authorities of the country concerned.


All information on this page is given for guidance only, and although we believe it to be correct at the time of writing, we cannot accept any liability for errors, omissions, inaccuracies or misinterpretation. All charges, regulations and procedures are liable to change without notice.

This information is provided without obligation and at the individual's risk. We accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy of whatever nature.

Contact us now for an estimate for your move