Australian Quarantine Requirements – Things You Should Be Aware Of For A Smooth Import

Australian Quarantine Requirements – Things You Should Be Aware Of For A Smooth Import

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When you import goods to Australia including cars and boats, an important part of the process you cannot avoid is the Australian Quarantine checking. Here is some information about the Australian Quarantine Examinations and process of importing items to Australia.

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The security of the biological system of Australia is the number one priority when it comes to imported goods. Any items that can harm, threaten or bring disease to Australia are strictly prohibited. Hence quarantine examinations of particular items are routine procedures while importing goods to the country.

All shipments of household goods entering Australia will be evaluated and potentially checked by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources prior to releasing them for delivery. You are supposed to provide a list of goods contained in your shipment and recognise any item that may be of concern.

If the department has concerns, they may carry out inspection and also may ask for treatment of the shipment before release. If you cannot treat it, they may take hold of and destroy the banned items or ask to re-export them.

As the shipper (person who imports or exports goods) you are liable to pay any associated charges. Thus it’s important to know how to save yourself from any unexpected costs.

Here is a summary of key information provided by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources which will help you while importing cars, boats and other items to Australia.

Goods of Biosecurity Concern

The Department of Agriculture and Water resources is concerned about two main areas:

  • Any item originated from or contains a plant (including timber) or an animal
  • Any item that has been in contact with plants, animals, soil, food or water

Banned Items

You are not allowed to import these items to Australia:

  • Live plants and bulbs
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit
  • Restricted and banned seeds
  • Unknown seeds which may include some foods, such as spices
  • Biological products such as plant-based, herbal medications
  • Live animals (including pets) that need an import permit
  • Soiled goods or goods containing organic residues
  • Unprocessed items of animal or plant origin
  • Goods knowingly infested with a disease or pests

If you are not sure about if an item is banned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, check BICON – the database of biosecurity import conditions. Here you will get the information of items with permitted entry, any permits/treatment required and any other concerns.

What to Do while Packing?

Preparation is perhaps the most important while packing your goods you want to take or import to Australia. The goods should be thoroughly prepared for inspection upon arrival.

Make sure you are not importing any prohibitted item.

Clean your items. Any goods that have been contacted with soil, food, animals, plants or their products should be thoroughly cleaned and made free from any contamination.

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Quarantine Charges and Fees

Many shipping companies may inform you that the quarantine charge is not included in your quotation and is payable locally to a specialist in quarantine cleaning services. This is because the charge is not fixed and can vary based on your individual shipment and decision of the department.


You will have to provide a detailed list of the items contained in your shipment. While importing a car or boat, normally you should take help from a company which provides skilled boat packing in Sydney like Marine and Auto Depot. After packing, they will provide you with a copy of the list of the contents of your shipment.

Any items of concern should be packed separately from other goods that are not of concern. This way the department staff won’t have to unpack your entire shipment for inspection.

Take care of all these things to perform a smooth import of the item you want.