When shipping personal or work-related items to another country, you should be careful not to go against the countries policies on imports. For example, every country has strict regulations on what are termed dangerous goods, and Australia is no exception.

Dangerous goods are not just limited to weapons, chemicals and sharp objects; they also include a wide variety of seemingly innocuous items. In fact, anything that can injure the handler or other people whether in transit or during processing are tagged as dangerous goods. Items in this category are defined by the customs department of the host country, international travel regulatory organizations, and most freight companies. It may come as a surprise to you that one of such item is the common lithium battery.

Shipping Prohibited and Restricted Goods into Australia

For security and customs reasons, certain items cannot be shipped into Australia. These items can be found in the list of restricted items on the Australian customs and agriculture websites. While it is true that these items are restricted from entering the country, you can still apply for and receive a special license to bring in some of these items, if you can show proof that the items are vital to your stay in Australia.  You will need to carry out an in-depth research to know the items you can obtain licenses for, but approval is solely at the discretion of the relevant Australian authorities.

Items like foodstuffs, certain plants, fruits, processed and unprocessed farm produce, as well as soil samples are some of the things you cannot ship into Australia. Animals, insects and certain type of pets also make the list. Where these items are allowed to enter the country, they will have to pass through quarantine, which can cause you unnecessary delays and extra expenses.

Australia go to great pains to protect its natural environment, which is why they restrict a lot of items that other countries may allow in. So, when you find yourself in a situation where all or parts of your goods are prohibited from entering the country, understand that it is a policy that applies to everyone entering into the country, and not a special treatment for you alone.

To avoid unwarranted delays or inconvenience when Shipping to Australia, you should endeavor to follow their import rules and guidelines. If you are not sure how to proceed, you should consider using the services of a professional international freight company. These companies have years of experiencing shipping items to Australia and will walk you through what to expect and how to plan your relocation.

Essential factors to consider

  • Packaging your items

When packing the items you want to ship to Australia, consider investing in new, strong, and preferably double walled cardboard boxes. These types of boxes are suitable for shipping virtually any kind of item. However, remember to use protective wrapping for fragile items before placing them in the cardboard boxes. You can use anything from bubble wrap to old clothes and old newspapers for protective wrapping. 

As much as possible, avoid shipping what is categorized as dangerous items, but if you must ship items like these for your use in Australia, make sure you get the right permits and prepare your paperwork in advance.

  • Additional fees

Because of the risk involved in shipping dangerous goods, you may be required to pay a premium rate for shipping. You will have to check with your preferred shipping service to know how much they charge for dangerous items. Additionally, you may be expected to take out insurance on your cargo to cover for both the value of the item and the risk to the carrier. This way, should something unexpected happen along the way, everyone will be well protected.

  • Ensure a complete documentation 

Having the right paperwork when shipping dangerous items to Australia is vital to having a smooth and hassle-free shipment. You can get the appropriate documentation and paperwork from the relevant Australian authority. Your freight service should be able to help you process the relevant papers, as, without this, your goods will be impounded at the entry point.

You should also ensure that any dangerous shipment is clearly indicated on the shipping manifest, including its description. This will help officials know how to handle it at the port of entry.

In conclusion, make sure you do complete research to find out all that is required if you plan on sending any dangerous item to Australia. Of course, these items may not be weapons, chemicals, or even overtly dangerous, but it is always best to follow the policies of your new country.

Published by Eric Foley