A Removalist’s Guide to Bringing Items to Australia

Last updated on October 25th, 2023

This blog summarises the first part our interview with Kieran O’Hara, director of Palmers Relocations. You can watch the full interview if you want to know more details and gain firsthand insights.

Many of you have asked, “What can I bring to Australia?” While we answered this question several times in the past, we thought tapping into the expertise of a seasoned professional would provide more clarity. So, we sat down with Kieran O’Hara, a trusted removalist with years of experience, to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information on relocating to Australia.

Below are some of the questions we asked:

Is it worth shipping a car to Australia?

A pro of bringing a vehicle to Australia, especially post-COVID-19, is the current state of vehicle availability. Right now, many vehicles in Australia are overpriced compared to what’s considered normal. If you have a vehicle in your home country, you might find that selling it doesn’t match its value, making it worthwhile to bring over. 

Many people are also comfortable with their vehicles; for some, their vehicle holds a special place in their hearts. 

However, there’s a downside. The paperwork required before the vehicle arrives in Australia can be tedious. 

Then, there’s currently an environmental threat that has significantly impacted car imports to Australia: the marmorated stink bug. This invasive species poses a risk to the Australian ecosystem. Because of this bug, there are strict checks when you bring a car into the country. Make sure you’re aware of this and plan accordingly.

But once it’s here, registering it isn’t too bad. Australia has a pretty good system for that. The key is to ensure you’ve done all your homework and prepared well in advance. 

Items to be cautious about when relocating


If you want to run the risk, that’s fine. But if you get caught, the ramifications are quite large. It’s about using common sense. If you have a set of kitchen knives, that’s okay. But if you’re bringing something like a hunting knife, it’s likely to get identified. There are actually forms you can fill out beforehand to declare these kinds of things. So, just declare it.

Ashes and human remains

If it’s coming in as an inheritance, like something you’ve inherited along with other items, there’s a form you can use. This form ensures you don’t pay duties, which is kind of weird, especially on ashes. But other than that, they are fine. 

Items with organic materials

Items that are outdoor, especially wooden furniture, can be brought into Australia. It’s okay to bring your dining table, chairs, and similar items. What Australian customs is really concerned about is dirt, dust, grass, and insects. For instance, if you have an outdoor table with bore holes or spider webs, just ensure it’s clean. It shouldn’t have marks or residues. 

A common item people get caught out with is acorns for Christmas decorations. If you bring prohibited items into Australia, they charge you to destroy them. They have a specific way of disposing of such items.

I always advise everyone to ensure their items are clean before bringing them to Australia. Make sure your shoes are clean, bicycle tyres are free from dirt, and even vacuum bags, which naturally accumulate dust and dirt. The same goes for camping equipment. As long as you clean these items thoroughly before they come to Australia, there shouldn’t be any problems.

If you want to learn more…

Again, this is a summary of our interview with Kieran. Watch the full version for more tips or contact Kieran for expert advice.

Plan4Australia simplifies the process of relocation to make it comfortable and hassle-free at an affordable price.

Our main point of difference is that every relocation commences with a one hour consultation with our founder, Robyn Vogels. You can be assured that your relocation plans will be assessed and strategised with Robyn’s experience of more than 1000 relocations.

You will then be introduced to a handpicked and personally trained relocation consultant based in the suburb you are moving to.

In short, we can help you with as much or as little move planning as you might need.


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