United States to Australia
Country or Territory Regulations Topics:
Commodity Specific Stipulations
There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to Australia. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.
- 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 permit 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.
- 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).
- 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:
For further information, please visit the following website: http://www.daff.gov.au
- 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)
- 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 visit www.customs.gov.au
Note: A scanned copy of the Certificate of Origin must be uploaded to UPS Document Imaging System (DIS).
- Jewelery 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.
- 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
Refer to Department of Health - Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website for more information on importing personal shipments to Australia
- Customers must use an authorized UPS / MBE (Mail Boxes Etc) Store, UPS Customer Center or ISC Approved Shipper to ship personal effects.
The UPS Store, Mail Boxes Etc, UPS Customer Center or ISC approved shipper will be required to identify personal effect shipments on the shipping label by placing "Personal Effects" in the Reference Field of a UPS "smart" label or in the Special Instructions Field of a UPS waybill. They must also clearly indicate 'Personal Effects' shipment on the Commercial Invoice.
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.
All of the following documents must be scanned into DIS/SIR and originals on the package:
An inventory list with estimated values with the reason for importation (holidays, move, relocation) 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.
Excisable goods (for example, perfume, alcoholic drinks, tobacco), medicine and perishable food can not be cleared as personal effects.
Personal effects shipments are not allowed in combination with Return Services.
- Pharmaceuticals require an import permit from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
- The invoice must state the material composition of the sample. Samples without a clear description are subject to quarantine inspection. All quarantine costs are charged to the importer, unless the shipment is Free Domicile, in which quarantine costs are charged to the shipper. Expect at least a 1-day delay.
- 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.
- 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.
- Any painted item must be labeled with the words, "Paint not containing lead."
- Quarantine will hold and inspect all used goods. A minimum quarantine charge of $36.00 AUD applies.
- Require an import permit from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.
- These items are subject to censorship for objectionable content.
- A full listing of ingredients is required on the invoice. Customs may hold shipments for inspection.
- Wooden furniture and other wooden products should be fumigated prior to export. Shipments should include a Fumigation Certificate issued by a fumigation inspector to avoid delays. The Fumigation Certificate should be attached to the shipping documentation. All items made of wood, cane, bamboo and rattan imported into Australia must undergo quarantine checks, which could add 1 to 2 days of delay.
For solid wood packing and dunnage, AQIS will require mandatory compliance with ISPM 15. This can either be in the form of a phytosanitary certificate or an IPPC logo.
In the event of non-compliance , the package will be treated, destroyed or re-exported. Charges will apply in these instances.
Prohibited or Restricted Commodities
In addition to the commodities which UPS prohibits to all countries or territories served (listed here), it is prohibited to ship the following commodities to Australia.
- Import of Alcoholic beverages into Australia is permitted via ISC contract service.
UPS only delivers to New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.
UPS cannot deliver to Queensland and Northern Territories due to certain communities local alcohol regulations.
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 Australian Border regardless of the importation value declared.
UPS require the alcoholic percentages of the products to be declared on the commercial invoice with Consignor / Consignee sale transaction.
- 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
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:
For 4C Importation of asbestos, please refer to the following link:
- Electromechanical devices weighing over 1 kg, originating in Turkey or transiting via Turkey destined for the following locations will need to be rerouted to bypass Australia or alternatively not be accepted:-
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- New Caledonia
- Wallis & Futuna
- 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.
A Commercial Invoice is required.
For more information on personal consumption click on the following link: http://www.tga.gov.au/consumers/personal-importation-scheme.htm
E-Cigarettes are comprised of an atomiser, 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.
E-cigarettes (and/or their components) are not prohibited imports under Customs law. However, they may be subject to control under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 if the packaging makes a claim about any form of therapeutic benefit.
If E-Cigarettes are detected at the border appearing to make a therapeutic claim, the goods may be referred to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The TGA will advise whether further action is warranted, whether any claims made are classed as therapeutic, and whether seizure is appropriate under their Act.
If no therapeutic claim is made, or the TGA determines that no action is warranted, the goods are released, as they are not controlled on importation.
The onus is on the purchaser of goods from offshore websites to ensure that any goods they purchase are legal to import and possess under Commonwealth and State and Territory laws.
Goods of this nature are not tobacco or tobacco products, and therefore are not subject to duty or GST if the Customs value is at or below the low value goods threshold of A$1,000.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 identifiy 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 are prohibited in our service due to a current embargo.
- Smoked salmon is prohibited.
- Any form of toy gun or gun replica is prohibited.
- 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.