Mailing goods to Australia

​​​Over 180 million international mail articles were sent to Australia last year, with Department of Agriculture officers using x–ray machines, detector dogs and inspections to intercept articles containing biosecurity risk material. During this period, officers seized over 24 000 items which were either destroyed, treated or returned to sender.

If you plan to send letters or parcels to Australia or request goods from overseas:

  • do not include food, plant material or animal products
  • make sure you fill out the declaration label clearly and correctly, itemising everything inside the package, including any packaging materials you’ve used
  • do not pack items in egg cartons, wooden boxes, or cardboard boxes that have been used to hold fruit, vegetables or meat/smallgoods – this packaging is a biosecurity risk and is prohibited
  • do not pack with straw or dried plant material; use newspaper or foam to wrap fragile goods
  • thoroughly clean and dry all footwear, sporting, fishing and camping equipment to remove any soil, seeds or plant material.

Mail order and internet purchases make up a large portion of seized items. The number of seized items also increases during cultural festivals and seasonal events. Before ordering goods or sending mail from overseas, make sure you know What Can’t Be Mailed to Australia?

If you’re a student studying in Australia, it’s important to tell your family and friends overseas about Australia’s biosecurity laws and ask them not to send food, plant material and animal products.

Last reviewed:
25 Feb 2015