Blog.Importing HHG into Australia

January 9, 2019

Hello Again!

Though he really doesn't need an introduction; it is my pleasure to give one anyway. I have worked with Steven Burge and his team as our agent in Australia for over 7 years. Key's Freight represents Dove Shipping in ALL of Australia not just the West Coast (They are just that Good!). My clients have been pleased with their professionalism and knowledge. They offer many more services in Australia regarding your importing and exporting needs. I highly recommend them. When I asked Steven to write an article to give advice on people wanting to ship to Australia he didn't think twice. He feels like I do, the more you educate yourself before you ship the better your experience will be. Without further ado....    


Personal Effects (House Hold Goods) Clearances in Australia

My name is Steven Burge and I am the Customs Manager at Keys Freight & Logistics. We are an experienced freight and logistics company in Perth, with an emphasis and commitment to customer service and exceptional results for our clients. Cos Breglia, our director, and I each have had over 15 years experience in forwarding and Customs clearance. We can arrange Customs and Quarantine clearance into any port in Australia, and have transport companies that work on our behalf that can deliver your goods to your house.

Personal Effects are treated differently by Australian Customs & Quarantine than commercial goods. For Customs & Quarantine to consider goods as personal effects, you must have owned and used the goods overseas for more than 12 months and you are intending to live in Australia. Those goods that are not considered personal effects are alcohol, tobacco, petroleum products, and motor vehicles, which will attract duty, GST, and possible excise duty. If you are thinking about sending alcohol or tobacco products to Australia, we recommend that you don’t as the excise tax in Australia is substantial. Those goods that are considered personal effects are allowed tax free admission into Australia.

If you are considering sending your personal effects to Australia, the main factors to consider are:

1.       The amount of Personal Effects that you are sending – The costs to send personal effects will depend on the cubic measurement if you’re sending less than a container load. If you are sending over 10 cubic meters of cargo, you may be best to send it in its own 20’ container to save damage and costs.

2.       Packaging – Please ensure that all goods are packaged properly to minimize the risk of damage. If you are sending less than a full container, your goods are packed with general cargo in containers, so they must be packed well, i.e. crated, to avoid damage and marked to minimize the risk of being lost.

3.       Costs – There are many factors that will affect the costs charged. If you wish to save costs, there are services / functions that imports can do to save costs. For detailed quotes, please do not hesitate to contact us for a quote before you ship your goods so we can inform you of the costs that could be incurred so you can make an informed decision and are not caught unaware.

4.       Permits – If you are shipping vehicles, knives, guns, we can assist with import permits. Some animal products may also require permits to import them.

5.       What delivery service are you after? We can tailor any delivery package to suit your requirements. To save costs, you can collect the cargo yourself once Quarantine release the goods. Our parent company is Keys Group, which is part of the Australian Movers Group, can offer white glove delivery to your home anywhere in Australia. This can even include assembling furniture and removing all packaging from your home.


The factors to keep in mind when sending personal effects to Australia are:

1.       All goods shipped to Australia must be clean and free from plant, animal, soil, and dirt material.

2.       Australian Customs and Quarantine require a detailed packing list of those goods shipped so they can locate high risk items. Please ensure that all cartons are clearly labelled on all sides of the cartons and that the labeling matches the packing list. We recommend that these items are clearly marked on your inventory and each carton is easily identifiable to make it easier for Quarantine to locate them. If possible, please pack them together.

3.       Goods that are made from animal products, for example ivory, please contact us prior to shipment so we can advise you if they are allowed and whether you need any import permits from Government bodies before you ship them.

4.       Foodstuffs can be difficult to get into Australia. If you are looking to ship food into Australia for your personal use, please contact us first as Quarantine will seize foodstuffs that require permits or not labelled to Australian standards.

5.       If motor vehicles, such as trailers, caravans, boat trailers, motor bikes, vehicle, and other trailers are shipped, please ensure that you have an import approval from the Department of Infrastructure before you ship them to Australia. It is an offence to ship motor vehicles and trailers to Australia without a valid import approval. If you do not have a valid import approval, your vehicle may be crushed or re-exported at your expense. For more information, please visit and follow the links to vehicle imports. Australia has very strict rules on passenger motor vehicle imports, so read the information carefully and do not ship the vehicle until you receive your import approval. You also need to ensure that the vehicle / trailer does not contain any asbestos components. You may need your vehicle surveyed by an approved company to ensure the vehicle is asbestos free prior to importation. Please note that vehicles will incur 5% duty and 10% GST at the time of importation.

6.       If you bring in new goods into Australia for personal use, or you haven’t owned goods for more than 12 months, these goods will be considered commercial goods and will be subject to import duty and GST.  

7.       For all personal effects shipments that arrive, Quarantine will inspect every shipment. If you bring in a full container, the container must be transported to a Customs and Quarantine warehouse for full unpack and inspection. The container cannot be delivered to your house for unpacking. Once the goods are inspected and released, the goods can either be collected from our depot or we can arrange delivery of the goods to your premise. All costs associated with this process are for the importers expense.


We are always here to help you and assist where you require. If you have any questions on the clearance process or costs, please don’t hesitate to email us. We are always happy to assist so there are no hidden surprises for you!


Steven Burge

Direct      +61 8 9256 0240

Email:      Steven Burge


Thank you, Steven, for that awesome information.  If you want more information please let me know by filling out the below comment box or emailing me HERE.

Next time we will discuss Packing options and Wood Requirements.   :) 

Sue Fitzgerald, GM, Dove Shipping International Inc.


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