Useful information for sending a parcel to Australia
With a long connection with the United Kingdom, shipping from the UK to Australia is quite favorable. It is still important to understand that specifics, however, when moving goods between the two nations.
Main Country Facts
The island nation of Australia was mainly comprised of indigenous tribes until it became a British penal settlement in 1778. In early 1901, the country was formally founded as a liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy. By 1942, formal ties with Britain were severed, making Australia a largely-independent nation. The British monarch still serves as the official head of state, though her official title within the country is actually the Queen of Australia. Today, 22 million citizens live in the country, with a full three-fourths of the population residing on the east coast of the main island. This creates a distinct separation between urban and rural areas.
Australia has a strong economy, ranking thirteenth is the world despite its small size and remote location. Quality of life categories, including life expectancy, health care and economic freedom are favourable to trade with Britain. Its proximity to Asian nations, however, leads the country to work more closely with these countries than many European partners. Australia operates a free-market economy, sharing its currency with several surrounding island nations and territories. The Australian Securities Exchange is the ranked ninth worldwide
. In addition, it has a higher GDP per capita than either the UK or the US. The citizens of Australia, however, carry significant levels of personal debt. The country's main export is commodities, but Australia also has a strong agricultural base.
Australia has some of the more cautious rules and regulations surrounding imports. Because of its reliance on agriculture, many things that are allowed are subject to close inspection and quarantine. The Australian Quarantine Inspection Service
keeps an especially close eye on all agricultural products. Despite disease outbreaks in animal populations worldwide, Australia's plants and animals have remained largely unaffected. To maintain the country's clean standards, you will be unable to ship many meat and dairy products, as well as plants or soil.
This even translates into the close inspection of all vehicles that enter the country; many are not cleared until they are thoroughly cleaned of foreign soil. The same treatment may apply to other items that come into contact with soil, such as used gardening equipment, outdoor furniture and bicycles.
Only a few categories are prohibited entirely from import to Australia. This includes things like cloned embryos and tools designed to assist in suicide. Most other categories are merely restricted. This includes:
- prescription or illicit drugs,
- and toys.
As a rule, never attempt to ship restricted items without first fully understanding the allowable parameters and obtaining permits. A full listing of the regulations and restricted items can be found here
The trip between the United Kingdom and Australia is a long one and your package will likely change carriers more than once, so secure packaging is important. The country is also very strict about valuation and customs declarations, so never ship anything without carefully and correctly filling out all applicable paperwork; neglecting to do this can delay delivery significantly. Your shipment may also be subject to the Goods and Service Tax.