Importing Personal Effects into Australia as Unaccompanied Goods

Once you make the decision to move to Australia as a skilled worker, a long list of things that you will miss about home would probably come to mind.   Your family.   Your old room.   The way your mom’s home-cooked meals smell.   The way your neighbours sing videoke throughout the night.   All these would be tucked inside their own corners in your brain’s memory bank, to be summoned when you start feeling lonely and homesick down under.   The great thing is, you can bring bits and pieces of home with you by importing some of your personal effects into Australia.   Who is eligible to import personal effects into Australia?   If you plan on sending your personal effects to Australia as Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPE), you would have to be one of the following:  
    • A migrant who will be taking up permanent residency in Australia for the first time

    • Someone who is returning to the country to resume their permanent residence

    • A temporary resident

    • An Australian citizen who is already residing overseas but would like to return to Australia temporarily

    • An Australian citizen who is returning to the country

What do UPEs include?   UPEs include any kind of belongings that you have owned more than 12 months before moving to Australia. Although you can still bring in personal effects that you have only had for less than that time frame, these would have to be subject to taxes.   Bequeathed items and things that you have purchased online are also excluded from the list of UPEs, and so are motor vehicles and commercial goods.   You can find a complete list of prohibited and restricted articles here.   You can also find a list of duty free items here.   How can these personal effects be cleared?   You would have to complete a UPE form, otherwise known as a B534. If the owner is unable to complete the form, a representative can also be nominated. The representative could be a customs broker, a freight forwarder, a relative, or a friend.   The following documents will be required when you submit your completed B534 form:  
  • A detailed packing list

  • Evidence of Identity (100 points) with at least one primary document

  • A delivery or arrival notice (if through sea cargo)

  • An air waybill (if through air cargo)

There is also a possibility that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be asking for more information and documentation aside from the ones listed above, so might as well prepare everything that you think they would be needing depending on what your item list includes.   Special thanks to ernst christen for the main image.
Rica J

I am a mother, a wife and a technology loving Filipina who loves reading hi-fiction books (dragons!) , good stories, dancing, laughter, lying on the grass and eating balut. I am born and raised in the Philippines and now resides in Australia but finds myself in the Philippines for at least 3 months a year. I am part of the Filipino Australian Community and have been living between Australia and the Philippines since 2007.


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