Restrictions and conditions can change at short notice. This page was last updated in July 2019 and the information on this page should be used as a guide only.
Import Duties and Tax
Import duties will be charged when the goods you have imported have a declared or assessed value of over AUD1000 or for certain categories of goods, notably alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
From 1 July 2018, goods with a customs value of AUD$1000 or less (low value goods) may attract the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the point of sale if imported from overseas by consumers in Australia.
It important to emphasise that GST, when it applies, will be charged at the point of sale and not at the border. There is no change to border clearance processes and the flow of goods across borders.
Import Restrictions and Prohibitions
If you are receiving an item in Australia, you are considered to be the importer. As an importer, it is important that you are aware that certain goods may be restricted or prohibited.
In some circumstances, items that are restricted may need to meet certain conditions, for instance an item that requires a permit. Items where conditions are not met (where a permit is not enclosed), may be destroyed or returned to the point of origin.
Please note the following regulations on sending goods to Australia:
- The relevant customs declaration forms that are required to be attached to small packets and parcels MUST state the details of any animal, plant, food, soil or microbiological products that are present.
- Goods such as used footwear, sporting and camping equipment MUST be thoroughly cleaned to remove any traces of soil, seeds and contamination.
For the latest information, there are a number of Australian Government Authorities with online resources that offer detailed guidance:
- The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) prevent the entry of dangerous pests and diseases that could affect plant, animal and human health, as well as Australia’s unique natural environment. DAWR offers a searchable data base on Biosecurity import conditions, the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).
- The Department of Home Affairs offer information on prohibitions and restrictions as well as Information about Import Duties and Taxes.
- State or Territory Departments of Agriculture may also have additional restrictions.
Additional information regarding the import of medicines, drugs and certain chemicals may be offered by:
- Therapeutic Goods Administration
- Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
- The Office of Drug Control
From 1 July 2019, tobacco import into Australia is prohibited without a permit. Tobacco products – including cigarettes and loose leaf tobacco – cannot be posted to Australia at all. Chewing tobacco, oral snuff in amounts up to 1.5kg and cigars may still be conditionally imported through the Post. Articles sent to Australia that contain tobacco may be seized and destroyed, even if the article also contains non-tobacco product. For more information, please see http://www.abf.gov.au/tobacco.
As a broad guide, the following are prohibited from importation, meaning parcels which include prohibited items won't be allowed to enter Australia.
It is important to be aware that non-prohibited goods contained in the same parcel as prohibited items also will not be delivered.
- Items prohibited in the Dangerous and Prohibited Goods & Packaging Post Guide (PDF 1.2MB)
- Drugs and narcotics
- Tobacco products, including cigarettes and loose leaf tobacco
- Human remains
Furthermore senders should be aware that for Parcels sent to Australia;
- Straw and other plant material MUST NOT be used as packaging material.
- Fruit, vegetable, egg or meat cartons (new or used) MUST NOT be used as packaging.
Senders should determine import restrictions from Australian authorities before posting:
- Animals and animal products
- Animal or vegetable fats and oils; prepared edible fats, animal or vegetable waxes
- Goods and materials bearing the word 'ANZAC'
- Artworks, antiques and cultural heritage goods
- Beverages, spirits and vinegar
- Ceramic ware - glazed
- Chewing tobacco, oral snuff and cigars
- Cigarette lighters
- Crowd control equipment (anti-personnel sprays, body armour, extendable batons, electric shock devices and acoustic shock devices)
- Dairy products including milk powders
- Firearms, parts, accessories and ammunition (including BB guns, paintball markers, and imitation firearms)
- Ice pipes
- Knives and other prohibited weapons including, slingshots supported by an arm brace and knuckle dusters.
- Laser pointers (with an accessible emission level greater than 1mW)
- Leather, fur, hides and skins
- Medicines, therapeutic drugs and substances (including prescription medications, abortifacients, aphrodisiacs and other drugs controlled for health reasons including PIEDs (Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs)
- Mineral and metal ores, base metals, rock and sand
- Optical, photographic cinematographic and medical instruments
- Pearls, precious or semi-precious stones and metals
- Prepared foodstuffs
- Seeds, plants and plant products (including cooking ingredients such as herbs)
- Textiles and textile articles
- Wood and articles of wood, pulp of wood or of other cellulose material
Delivery locations and delivery speeds for items arriving from overseas
Christmas Island, is deemed part of Western Australia (postcode 6798) and Norfolk Island is deemed part of New South Wales (postcode 2899) for the purposes of postal services and the assessment of postage. Senders must complete standard customs documentation for all articles containing goods and merchandise.
Whilst Australia Post provides delivery throughout Australia, it is important to be aware that the Postal Service in the country of origin is best placed to offer advice both on delivery speeds to Australia and