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If you're planning to move to Australia, you may intend to take a lot of your existing furniture, fittings and possessions and may be considering all your shipment options. You may not be aware, but the government has a very stringent inspection process at every port of entry, as they are looking for any threat to the country's flora and fauna. How can you make sure that you do not fall foul of this inspection, especially as it could cost you a lot of money to rectify?
Bio Security Threats
When your possessions arrive on Australian shores, the Department of Agriculture and Water will be looking very closely to see whether your shipment contains any prohibited or restricted goods. In particular, they have bio security concerns and will look at anything that appears to originate from a plant or animal or that could have come into contact with them. This can be particularly problematic when it comes to certain packaging materials, especially timber.
Looking for Issues
While you may be aware that you cannot import fresh fruit, vegetables or plants, you need to be careful that none of your possessions come into contact with any soil while they are being loaded or are in transit. You should also make sure that wooden items such as furniture are in very good condition and have not been left in a damp or otherwise unprotected area, where they could have been subject to infestation.
You should work very closely with a customs clearance agent, who will help you to draw up a list of all your items. Each box or container should be cross-referenced to this list, and you should ensure that the contents of each box carefully match the packing list. If you think that there are any items that could be of interest to the Department, then you should put them all together in a separate box and segregate from the rest of your shipment. This may help to speed up the process, as otherwise your goods may be detained longer than necessary.
If the inspectors find anything untoward, your shipment may need to go into quarantine for some time. In the worst-case scenario, the items in question could be destroyed without recourse to compensation, or the authorities could insist that they be re-exported. In the latter case, you will be responsible for meeting those costs, which could be substantial and far more than your inbound budget.
Considering the Risk
With so much at stake, it's best if you work with a customs clearance service so that they can advise you at every step of the process. If not, you may find that some of your belongings will be absent when you arrive at your new home, and this is not a good way to start your latest life adventure.