If you’re planning your move down under, you might be wondering ‘can you ship wooden items to Australia?’.
It’s a question often asked on emigration forums and Facebook groups so here’s what you need to know about shipping wooden items to Australia.
Can You Ship Wooden Items To Australia?
If you’re asking yourself, “can I ship wood to Australia?”, then the short answer is yes. However all wooden items must meet strict import conditions relating to biosecurity.
The items need to be pest free and preferably treated (e.g. painted or varnished).
Items that are untreated wood, and/or show signs of past or current infestation, will present a risk to Australia’s biosecurity.
Most people bringing wood into Australia will have treated items like furniture and picture frames that do not pose a risk. As long as they are declared as wooden items, they will be processed accordingly.
Can I Bring Wooden Items To Australia In My Airline Baggage?
Yes, you can.
No matter how the items enter the country – whether through cargo ship, personal baggage or via post – all wooden items must meet the same biosecurity requirements.
This includes bringing wooden souvenirs to Australia – as long as it’s treated wood, they will usually be OK to enter Australia.
What Kind Of Wooden Items Can I Ship To Australia?
For a full and up to date list of wooden items you can ship to Australia, check the Agriculture website here.
It will tell you what sort of risk it may pose along with the relevant import conditions associated with each type of wood.
Types of timber and bamboo products classified include:
Cane and rattan
Willow and wicker
Logs and oversize timber
Plant derived charcoal, wood pellets and briquettes
Timber and bamboo packaging
Timber and timber mouldings
Wooden manufactured articles
Most commonly, items may fall under the wooden manufactured articles section.
The Agriculture website describes these as:
“Wooden articles are a finished product and are often lacquered, varnished or painted. Includes products that are new or antique, and are made from solid wood, or a combination of solid wood and plywood or veneer, plastic or metal. This also includes items made by hand from wood, such as art, instruments, pipes, arrows, bowls, weapon handles, shields and spears.”
In terms of their risk, the website states:
“Due to their manufacturing these products are considered low risk. However, they may still contain timber borers, insect pests, bark and other contaminants.”
Who Is Responsible For Ensuring Wooden Items Are Suitable To Import To Australia?
You, as the owner, as well as the shipping company you choose, are both responsible for what is packed in your container or luggage.
If you ship your goods, any good international removalist should work with you to ensure that whatever you pack meets the strict biosecurity standards set by Australia for all goods entering the country.
How Will My Wooden Items Get Treated By Customs?
All wooden items must be declared on your customs forms – whether you bring them with your personal luggage when flying, or via cargo ship in a container.
Customs reserve the right to open and inspect any or all of your belongings, not just your wooden or high risk items.
They can open your boxes and if they find any items which they deem to be infested or high risk, they can send them to be treated professionally before clearing them to enter Australia.
You will be notified before this is done and be given the option to either treat or destroy the item. Either way, you will be billed for any treatment or destruction costs.
So think very carefully about what wooden items you choose to ship to Australia.
What If I Know The Items Have Been Infested By Insects?
If the wooden item you want to bring has been (or currently is) infested by any sort of insect, you have two options.
One – you don’t bring the item with you.
Two – you ensure the item is treated prior to packing and shipping. Some treatment of wooden items can only be carried out by an approved treatment provider as well – ensure you check what kind of treatment your item needs and what an acceptable treatment would be to ensure it is accepted on arrival in Australia.
Types of treatment include:
Approved permanent preservative treatment
Where Can I Find The Most Up To Date Information About Shipping Items To Australia?
Here are the best websites to check if you have any questions about what you’re allowed and not allowed to bring to Australia when you move here.
Agriculture – Moving To Australia – https://www.agriculture.gov.au/travelling/moving-immigrating
Agriculture – Wooden Items – https://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/goods/timber/personal_imports_of_timber_and_wooden_related_articles
Australian Border Force – https://www.abf.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/can-you-bring-it-in
If you are planning on importing wooden products to Australia as a business venture, make sure you have researched how to do this properly and in accordance with the laws of the country.
Hopefully you’ve found this information about bringing wooden products and items to Australia useful. I’d love to read in the comments if you’ve experienced any issues when bringing wooden items into Australia either when you moved or after a holiday abroad.