What You Can’t Ship to Australia?

Posted on 02 May 2017

Summary: The Australian Government controls the import of goods into Australia. Some items are categorized as prohibited and restricted exports. As an Australian online shopper, if you are buying from overseas, you need to get to know this.

What You Can’t Ship to Australia?

Comprehensive list of items prohibited to be shipped into Australia

Do you know that the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) checks all the goods arriving at international mail centers, airports, and seaports on a regular basis? About 150 million items of international mail sent to Australia every year and Quarantine officers, with the help of x-ray machines and detector dogs, screen all these items. Around 80,000 high-risk items are intercepted every year from entering Australia.

Australia is one of the countries with the strictest regulations of importing goods. While the number of Australian digital shoppers, who make cross-border purchases, is increasing steadily over the past few years. The data from the 2016 Australia eCommerce Market shows that almost 69% Australian shoppers purchase goods mainly from the US, China, and the UK. As more and more Australian consumers shop online overseas it is necessary to know about the rules and regulations for importing goods from U.S. and China to Australia.

It’s always better to know before you shop

Every country has export and import regulations and carrier restrictions. Australian quarantine regulations have been imposed by the government to protect the environment and habitats in Australia from harmful, contagious diseases and pests. Mainly food, plants, and animal material are restricted as they have the potential to damage the country’s agriculture while negatively impacting the community health.

Is your purchased product safe to be sent?

The Australian Government has categorized certain imported goods into two categories: Prohibited and restricted. Prohibited goods cannot be imported by any means in the country, while the restricted goods require written permission for importing into Australia.

dangerous goods prohibited

The Department of Agriculture has a list of prohibited goods that are subjected to be seized and destroyed:

  • Dairy Products (Exemption: Listed as from a foot-and-mouth disease free country)
  • Live Plants
  • Seeds and Nuts (Also includes pine cones and seed ornaments, raw nuts)
  • Uncanned Meat Products of all animal species
  • Refrigerators, air conditioners, and any equipment containing CFCs or other hazardous material

Some of the goods can be imported after proper treatment and prior declaration. You need to pay fixed fees before importing them:

  • Wooden items not made from untreated wood or bark
  • Handicrafts from plant material
  • Straw products
  • Christmas decorations
  • Dried and fresh flowers/ stems
  • Wool and animal hair (also included in craft items)
  • Shells and corals (Including in ornaments)
  • Used Veterinary equipment and medicines
  • Sports equipment and clothing (must be cleaned and sterilize)
  • Camping equipment and Gardening equipment

If you’re uncertain about any of these categories, feel free to contact us for further guidance. Here is a comprehensive list of restricted goods to Australia:

  • Steroids (Anabolic or androgenic substances)
  • Antibiotics (Exemption- Prescribed medicine/medicine in an accompanied baggage)
  • ‘ANZAC’ (or a similar word) bearing goods
  • Asbestos
  • Cat and dog fur products
  • Ceramic ware and glazed tiles
  • Chemical weapons
  • Chewing tobacco and oral stuff
  • Cigarette lighters
  • Cosmetic products with over 250mg/kg of lead or its compounds (Exemption- cosmetics containing lead acetate and useful in hair treatment)
  • Crowd control equipment like anti-personnel sprays, body armor, electric shock devices, etc.
  • Growth hormones and substances of human/animal origin (Exemption- Prescription drugs)
  • Endangered animal and plant species
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Rough Diamonds (Kimberley Process)
  • Plastic Explosives and Dog callers
  • Laser pointers and money boxes or any novelty with toxic materials
  • Radioactive substances
  • Cultural heritage goods that form an important part of a nation’s identity

The list is getting longer as the Government of Australia has taken enough care by covering all the imported goods that may impact the country.

We, at Ship2AU, are always here to help you to shop overseas on line from the U.S. and China, and import product into Australia.


If you have any questions, feel free to CONTACT US.

Sign up Now