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Australian Customs Tax & Importation Regulations

What can I ship to Australia from the U.S.

Here's a quick reference to guide you on shipping internationally from the U.S. to Australia

When shopping in the U.S. to Australia keep in mind that shipping laws and regulations vary based on U.S. Export Regulations, carrier regulations, international shipping regulations, and Australian  customs and import regulations.

Keep in mind, this is not a complete list of goods subject to import prohibitions and restrictions to Australia. For a complete list, please visit the SCALEPLUS site. Or connect with us here.

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Items with restrictions or allowed under certain conditions

Animal Skins, Non-Domesticated
If the animal skins are covered by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), they will be seized by Customs unless a valid export permit and import permits are in place at the time of importation and are presented to Customs at such time.

All clothing must contain labels. The labels must state the material composition and country or territory of origin. This label must be sewn into the garment, where the customer can see the markings if the garments are packaged. If the packaging is not transparent, the markings must also be on the packaging.

Green coffee beans require an import permit from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.


Compact Discs
These items are subject to censorship for objectionable content.

Shipments of cosmetic products more than 250mg/kg of lead, require approval from the Ministry for Justice and Customs. This does not apply to those designed for use in hair treatments.

Requires an import permit from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

These items are subject to censorship for objectionable content.


  • Restrictions depend on the type of food product. All goods containing meat, dairy, fish, and bee products require permits to import. Quarantine charges apply for food importation.

  • Restrictions in relation to commerce marking also apply; packaging must identify the manufacturer, distributor, importer, quantity, ingredients, and country or territory of manufacture.

  • Any shipments that arrive in old fruit boxes will be repacked. The boxes are then destroyed. Clearance delays will occur.

  • Charges for the quarantine inspection of food are billed to the consignee. Suspicious foods are fumigated by Australian Quarantine Authorities. The minimum quarantine fee is $36.00 Australian dollar (AUD).


Goods of Taiwan Origin

  • Increased quarantine measures are being applied for products produced in Taiwan as a result of the confirmed outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease.

  • Import Permits and applications for products with more than 10% of dairy content; semen, embryos and other biological products of susceptible species are to be assessed and appropriate measures or suspension in line with new requirements as a result of the outbreak will be imposed. All affected business will be informed of changes affecting their Import Permits.

  • Further, import for the following products will be assessed on a case by case basis depending on manufacturing processing and other treatment being sufficient to manage the risk of Foot and Mouth Disease:


  • Used farming equipment

  • Saddlery, harnesses & tacks

  • Scoured wool, animal hair and leather products

  • Processed canned and dried pet food

  • Biological Products from non-susceptible species

  • Processed meat of dairy products (for example, chocolate and confectionary, highly processed cheese; shelf stable hermetically sealed/retorted meat and dairy products)


For further information, please click here.


Goods of U.S. Origin
Australian Customs may require a Certificate of Origin for goods claiming preferential terms under the U.S. - Australia Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). The goods must be wholly obtained or produced in the U.S. If U.S. origin is not stated on the commercial invoice at time of importation, preference will not be claimed and the standard schedule duty rate will apply. For more information, please click here.

Note: A scanned copy of the Certificate of Origin must be uploaded to UPS Document Imaging System (DIS).

Jewelry Shipments with a value less than $1000.00 AUD require Evidence of Price Paid or Sale. This can be in the form of Bank Statements showing proof of payment for the goods, or Credit Card statements or other Receipts showing the actual monetary transaction for the goods.


  • The importation of medicines into Australia is regulated under the "Therapeutic Goods Act". If the medicines are not registered with the "Therapeutic Administration" then they are not permitted entry into Australia. Permits to import are required for certain goods such as steroids.

  • Personal imports of prescription medicines can be imported if the importer is a person, the supply is for less than 3 months and they have a prescription from an Australian doctor.

Nutritional Supplements
A full listing of ingredients is required on the invoice. Customs and Quarantine will hold all shipments until ingredients can be verified. Shipments containing ingredients that cannot be verified or are prohibited will be seized by Customs. Quarantine inspection charges will apply. The list of prohibited ingredients can be found in the Australian Government - Department of Health website

Personal Effects

Personal Effects are classified as used items (owned for a minimum of 6 months) intended for the consignee's personal use. Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis. "Personal Effects" must be clearly stated on the invoice and goods description. A confirmation that the goods are older than 6 months and that they are intended for personal use only A photocopy of passport or ID card Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis. Personal effects shipments are not allowed in combination with Return Services.


Excisable Goods

  • For example - perfume, alcoholic drinks, tobacco), medicine, and perishable food can not be cleared as personal effects



Pharmaceuticals require an import permit from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

According to the Trade Marking requirements, shoes must be individually marked in a permanent manner stating the country or territory of origin and material(s) content.

All software shipments must invoice the value of the compact disc (CD) or diskette and the value of the intellectual property or programming. If the CDs or diskettes are blank, the description on the invoice must mention the fact. If the invoice does not indicate the intellectual property or programming value, then the shipment may be subject to further Customs checks and subsequent delays.

Straw is strictly prohibited; non-compliance results in longer delays. All packages containing straw will be held and the straw removed. The importer bears the expense. Delays ranging from 48 hours to 2 weeks will occur. The cost of removing the straw and the subsequent delays are based on the size of the package.

Ceramic tableware may be delayed for lead cadmium testing.

Telephone Equipment
Portable telephones require an import permit.

Textiles must be labeled with the composition of fabric and country or territory of origin.


The manufacturer must issue a certificate certifying that the tire is free from mosquitoes and/or their larvae.


Tobacco Products
Tobacco products now require written permission to be shipped must have a valid import permit before goods arrive in AU. Certain types of tobacco products are exempt from this regulation (smokeless tobacco, cigars and unmanufactured tobacco).

Restricted Items
Prohibited Items
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Strictly Forbidden or Prohibited Items in Australia

Alcoholic Beverages

  • Import of Alcoholic beverages into Australia is permitted via ISC contract service

  • Importation of Alcohol products to Australia does not include the de-minims value rule, All Alcohol products are subject to high rates of duties rates (excise and WET tax) and GST upon importation at the Australian Border regardless of the importation value declared.


Asbestos products and/or products containing Asbestos

  • Due to a growing number of asbestos products and/or products containing asbestos being imported illegally, the Australian Government has now increased border targeting of these products in an effort to reduce instances of these prohibited imports.

  • The Australian Border Force (ABF) is targeting specific import tariff classification codes linked to potential asbestos products and/or products containing asbestos.

The tariff classification areas include but are not limited to the following:

  • Mineral and chemical products

  • Plastic and rubber products

  • Ceramic and glass products

  • Metal products

  • Machinery and electrical products and components, incl. automotive and similar products


As a result of this heightened enforcement, importers should undertake due diligence with manufacturers and suppliers of any goods or products suspected of containing any level of asbestos. Where applicable, importers should also have a statement on the commercial invoice indicating "asbestos-free materials".


Further information including affected commodity types, classification codes, and testing requirements may be obtained from the following links:


  • Electrical Equipment and Machinery

  • An "Electromechanical Device" greater than one kilogram in weight that incorporates an electric motor, must not be brought, into Australian territory If it has originated, transited or transferred through, the Republic of Turkey.

  • Electronic Cigarette / Vaping Product

  • Electronic Cigarettes can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

  • Electronic Cigarettes can only be imported into Australia for personal consumption only-not for commercial purposes.

  • From the 1st October 2021, all nicotine for human use, including vaping products that contain nicotine, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine, will be contained within Schedule 4 (prescription only medicines) of The Poisons Standards and will be regulated at the border by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

  • Under the scheme, patients can order a maximum of 3 months supply at one time and all importations must be supported by a valid prescription from an Australian medical practitioner at the time of import

  • Any imports which are not supported by a valid prescription or are in excess of the prescribed amount may be assessed by the TGA to be unlawful under the TGA Act 1989 and may be seized as prohibited imports under the Customs Act 1901 A Commercial Invoice is required.

  • For more information on personal consumption click on the following link:

  • E-Cigarettes are comprised of an atomizer, battery and cartridge that may or may not contain a mixture of liquid nicotine and propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol. These forms of glycol are commonly used in pharmaceutical formulations and are not controlled.

  • Liquid nicotine is scheduled as a 'Schedule 7 Poison' under the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP). As such, it is considered a substance with a potential for causing harm which requires special precautions in manufacture, handling or use. Other substances listed in Schedule 7 include chlorine and arsenic. The listing of a poison in Schedule 7 does not usually justify an import prohibition.

  • The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) is responsible for the government policy on such issues and advised that all States and Territories have domestic controls on the sale of these products and they are prohibited for commercial purposes.

  • Knives

  • The consignee must obtain an import permit for shipments of daggers or double-edged or sharp, pointed stabbing instruments. Concealable knives are prohibited and will be seized by Customs.

  • Laser Products

  • High-intensity laser pointer shipments are prohibited. To import a laser pointer stronger than 1mW, the importer will have to obtain police authorization from the relevant state or territory police force prior to applying for an import permit.

  • Plants

  • Living plant material requirements depend on the plant species, country or territory of origin, and will require a valid Import Permit. Depending on the plant species relevant import and export CITES permits may be required.

  • Accompanying documentation (for example, packing list, Phytosanitary certificates, CITES certificates, invoices etc) and labels on the consignments must correspond and the documentation should clearly identify the plants by their botanical names.

  • All plant material must be free from soil, disease symptoms and other extraneous contamination of quarantine concern.

  • Products Made in Iran

  • Products made in Iran are prohibited in our service due to a current embargo.

  • Smoked Salmon

  • Smoked salmon is prohibited.

  • Toy Guns

  • Any form of toy gun or gun replica is prohibited.

  • Watches

The Department of Commerce requires that the watch, the watch housing and the watch's movement be individually labeled with the country or territory of origin if they are not all made in the same country or territory. If each item is made in the same country or territory only the case needs to be marked with the country or territory of origin.

Regulations By Carrier

Carrier Shipping Regulations from the U.S. to Australia

Carriers have different lists of prohibitions and restrictions per country on destination. You can find the links to our Carrier Partners below:

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