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4 tips to keep in mind when shipping a package to Australia

Some might think that shipping a package to Australia should be somewhat complicated, however it is more common than you think.

During these times of the pandemic many are in need of sending shipments to Australia for the purpose of helping their loved ones or for other personal reasons. In this article we'll show you 4 tips to keep in mind when shipping a package to Australia.

1. Shipment of personal items to Australia

If you submit a package of your own to Australia, there are a number of conditions you must keep in mind to be exempt from paying any taxes.

Baggage shipments imported into Australia are called Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPE)

You need to:

  • Have owned the goods for at least 12 months before entering Australia.
  • Have the intention of arriving or already being in Australia.
  • Be a permanent resident of Australia or have a visa that allows you to be legally in Australia.

But, if you're sending a gift to Australia, it can't be defined as personal effects. This means that the recipient of the gift in Australia must pay the cost of duties or taxes for the gift to be shipped through customs.

2. Customs invoices, duties and taxes

If you ship items to Australia, you will need to send a customs invoice with your package(s), whether they are a gift, personal effects or any other type of item. Australian Customs uses the customs invoice to know the taxes that may apply to the items to be imported. These charges are applied by the Australian Government and must be paid to enable them to enter the country.

Depending on the value of the goods you are importing, their nature and the reason for the shipment, different taxes and duties will apply. It is important that you verify the tariff classification of your item(s) to ensure that you are being charged the correct tax.

All goods with a value greater than $1000 AUD must enter the country by means of an “Import Declaration”. These declarations can be made online, through the Integrated Cargo System (ICS), or by filling out a customs document.

You must pay the GST (Goods and Services Tax) when you declare the goods at customs.

3. Restricted imports and customs

There are a number of restricted and prohibited items that cannot be imported into Australia under any conditions. There are also others that require permission to be admitted to the country.

As Australia has strict customs and quarantine regulations, it is important that you provide all the correct and necessary documentation to avoid delays in delivering your shipment or any additional costs that may arise in case your item(s) should be inspected.

4. Time and money when shipping to Australia

The best options for shipping your item(s) will depend on the size and nature.

The fastest option for smaller items is through the courier service with a travel time of between 4 and 12 business days. For larger shipments, marine transport is the cheapest option, but it will take approximately 60 days to arrive.


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