Travelling to Australia and preparing to pack your life into a container?

April 27, 2017

The keep, donate, recycle process is familiar to anyone moving house. But when you’re moving country it takes on a whole new meaning. People tell us they were unsure about what they could and should bring with them so we’ve put together a checklist of things to consider when choosing a personal effects shipping company.

What are personal effects and who can import them?

Simply, they are the household items that you have owned and used in your former country of residence. They are known as Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPE) and there are some rules about what you can bring with you. To be eligible to import UPE you must be either:

  • A migrant who is coming to Australia to take up permanent residence for the first time
  • A person returning to resume permanent residence
  • Temporary residents
  • A returning Australian citizen

Customs and Tax Laws

In Australia, there are strict laws relating to importing goods into the country. Everything is subject to customs clearance and quarantine restrictions. The Government provides people that meet the criteria above with a concession on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for certain items imported as Unaccompanied Personal Effects. The concession only applies if the following requirements are met:

  • You must have recently travelled or intend to travel to Australia
  • The goods must be your own personal property
  • Property must have owned and used by you for at least 12 months before arrival

Any new or unused items or commercial quantities will be subject to duty and GST assessment.

Generally speaking, personal clothing, footwear, and personal grooming items do not have to be owned and used for 12 months, but there are some exclusions. Things that are not included in tax exemptions for UPE include:

  • Motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts
  • Commercial goods, furs, and perfume concentrates
  • Alcohol and tobacco products

Any of these items imported with your UPEs will be subject to the applicable duty and relevant tax.

Quarantine restrictions mean you may not bring animal products, untreated wood, and some foods into Australia.

Don’t just Google it and go for the lowest price

Before entrusting anyone with your belongings you need to ask what services are included and what charges apply.  For example, does their quotation include:

  • A comprehensive door to door service
  • Handling of all associated forms and paperwork
  • Customs and quarantine clearance
  • Bonded warehouse and wharf to door facilities

MYCARGO is here to help. We’re an Australian freight service company with established local partnerships and outreach across the globe. We provide comprehensive door to door service from almost anywhere in the world to Australia and what other companies call extras, we include as standard. For peace of mind, we allocate you a nominated contact person to manage your shipping. They are there to answer any questions and keep you informed. Call us today on +61 8 9253 0121 to discuss how we can assist you.

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