Everything You Need to Know About Shipping to Australia

Send a parcel to Australia with ParcelBroker’s trusted courier comparison service.

ParcelBroker provides the cheapest rates on shipping costs. Your parcel could arrive as early as 3 business days when booking through us, including tracking and up to £1000 transit cover.

  • Save up to 70% when exporting to Australia.
  • A service you can trust with the highest rated courier comparison site on Trustpilot.
  • Expert advice from our friendly team, including live chat.

Businesses that are looking to trade with Australia will benefit from an appealing consumer base which has high personal wealth and good intellectual property (IP) protection. To help you determine the logistical steps of shipping to Australia, we’ve created this comprehensive guide with information on weight and size guides, shipping timeframes, address labelling, costs and cost reduction methods.


What's the Cheapest Way to Send a Parcel to Australia?

The cheapest way to send a parcel to Australia from the UK is through TNT via our TNT: Express service. It could cost you as little as £29.25 for a 0.5kg package. Book today and enjoy £25 free extended liability cover from ParcelBroker.

Your package could arrive in Australia in as little as 3 business days. However, there are some specific factors to consider when shipping to Australia. The most important aspect of shipping variables is the weight and dimensions of your package. You can use our shipping calculator to get up-to-date costs of delivery.

Icon of weighing scales

Package Weight

Shipping rates will increase depending on the weight of your package. You can ship single items up to 50kg in weight through Parcelforce, DHL, FedEx, and UPS using ParcelBroker’s trusted service, and you can use our handy shipping calculator to get up-to-date prices for your delivery. Simply add the dimensions, weight, and quantity of packages to get an up-to-date quote instantly.

icon of triangle ruler

Package Dimensions

The dimensions of your package will also determine which courier service can handle your delivery. If you are sending multiple items to Australia, it may be cheaper to split your items into separate packages for cheaper rates, or you can combine multiple packages into a single pallet for easier delivery.



Can I Send a Pallet to Australia?

You can send a pallet to Australia via ParcelBroker’s PB: Express Pallet service, or through DHL: Express Pallet. Using our pallet delivery calculator, you can get an instant quote for your delivery to Australia.

A pallet delivery can be a cost-effective solution when you are sending large or heavy items, or multiple packages that are intended for the same destination. Simply order your pallet online or obtain one from your local supplier, then pack your items onto the pallet and secure them with pallet shrink wrapping. Your local pallet supplier should be able to provide you with the necessary materials to secure your package.

Packaging Your Pallet

A surcharge will be applied to all non-stackable pallets. These are pallets that cannot be stacked with other freight, if necessary, due to restrictions such as the shape of the items on your pallet, or contents of a pallet which may be fragile and unsuitable for stacking.

We have included visual guidance below on how to properly arrange your pallet. Adhering to this guidance will reduce the chances of any additional handling charges or damages.

Illustration of overhanging pallet

Don't overhang the pallet

Illustration of shrink wrapped pallet

Secure goods to the pallet base

Illustration of good internal packaging on palletised goods

Use internal protection

Illustration of non-stackable pallet

If non-stackable, use signage and cones

Illustration of boxes stacked with a level surface on a pallet

Ensure the top is level and flat if stackable

Illustration of irregular shaped items palletised

Make irregular shaped items stackable

Illustration of damaged, fragile and degraded parcel on a pallet.

Damaged boxes or fragile items will be non-stackable

Illustration of machine parts on a pallet

Loose items should be crated for transport



Same-Day Pickup and Local Drop-Off

If you're sending a parcel, most carriers can collect your shipment the same day if booked before noon, or accept packages at one of their local drop off points.  Palletised freight usually needs to have a collection planned in advance to ensure the correct vehicle can be assigned and that space is pre-booked for your pallet/s.  If you do need to drop off a pallet, this will have to be to a local depot rather than a drop off point due to space restrictions.

The time frame of your delivery will also affect the cost of shipping to Australia, so keep this in mind before you guarantee shipping costs and timeframes to the recipient. You can easily compare our live prices for express delivery options below:

UPS FedEx DHL DSV Parcelforce TNT
0.5kg £47.64 £57.97 £38.06 £29.91 £40.32 £29.25
1kg £52.38 £60.11 £43.21 £32.88 £44.00 £32.56
5kg £103.45 £97.62 £76.59 £62.36 £76.27 £80.61
10kg £152.15 £162.53 £131.35 £100.83 £113.11 £127.48
15kg £199.44 £247.90 £176.04 £134.85 £140.59 £165.78
20kg £246.75 £310.75 £220.70 £169.05 £171.89 £204.19
25kg £300.52 £399.95 £264.02 £206.54 £ £242.70

Prices as of April 9, 2024


How Long Does it Take to Deliver to Australia?

Sending a parcel to Australia has never been easier or quicker, your package can arrive in as little as 3 business days with a reliable courier. You can also take your parcel to a number of local drop-off points, or arrange collection straight from your door which can impact delivery timeframes.  Delays to quoted delivery times are usually caused during customs processing, so it's really important to provide them with full and accurate data.

Icon of van driving fast



How to Address my Parcel for Shipping to Australia?

It is important that you correctly address your package before collection or drop-off at your local postal depot, ensuring that your label is free of spelling errors and correctly formatted.

Below we have included some tips on correct formatting for address labels to Australia:

  • Write the apartment number with a forward slash before the building number.
  • State the apartment or suite number on the second line, followed by a floor number (if applicable), building number and street name on the third.
  • The town, suburb, or territory must be written on the fourth line in capitals, and must not include punctuation. Include the four-digit postcode on this line.
  • You must write ‘AUSTRALIA’ on the bottom line in capital letters.
  • Include your return address on a separate label clearly stating this is the sender’s address.

In this example, the addressee lives in apartment 4, on the 4th floor, at 8 Kane Street - Queensland:

Addressee Name
Apartment 4
Floor 4, 8 Kane Street
SOUTHPORT QLD 4354
AUSTRALIA

Australia State Abbreviations

AUSTRALIAN STATE
ABBREVIATION
Queensland
QLD
New South Wales
NSW
Australian Capital Territory ACT
Victoria VIC
Tasmania TAS
Northern Territory NT
South Australia SA
Western Australia WA

Australian Shipping Customs Procedures

You will be required to include a customs declaration form when exporting goods, including gifts, into Australia. This is official documentation that provides details of the item you are exporting, which can include ingredients, the weight of the item, declaration of materials used, and expiry dates. ParcelBroker creates your customs documentation during the booking process and will provide a copy of the customs declaration to the courier on completion of your order, but it is up to you to fill out these forms correctly.

If you're sending by postal service, you will need to fill out one of 2 forms for exports to Australia, these are as follows:

A package will usually take around 24 hours to clear customs, provided there are no holds currently in place by the Australian Border Force.

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Why is my Package Stuck in Australian Customs?

1. Unpaid Duty Payments on Your Item(s)

Duty tax will be payable on almost all items sent to Australia, and this amount is generally based on the commercial value of the item(s) that you are sending.

The recipient can usually expect to pay around 5% of an item’s value for customs duty, and a rate of around 10% for Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Duties and tax are expected to be paid upon collection from the recipient, and they are given up to 30 days in which to pay this fee. Failure to do so will likely result in the package's destruction, abandonment, or return-to-sender for an additional charge.


2. Missing or Incorrect Documentation

Documentation will be required for the shipment of goods, or any restricted items that are included in your package. If you are a supplier sending commercial goods to Australia, then you will require the following:

  • Commercial Invoice - A commercial invoice provides details of the price of the goods you are importing to Australia, as well as the amount of items being imported
  • Certificate of Origin - this certification states the country of origin for where your goods were manufactured. This type of documentation could even benefit you as the sender if Australia has a free trade agreement with the country of origin.

3. Missing Import Permits

The Australian government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, places restrictions on particular items that are imported into the country. You will require an import permit if one or all of your items fall into the conditions as stated by the Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) database.

It is important that you check your goods on this website before sending, particularly if you are a supplier of agricultural goods, as failure to produce import permits could also result in the package's destruction, abandonment, or return-to-sender for an additional charge.


4. Biosecurity Inspections

Australia’s border forces have measures in place aimed at reducing the introduction of pests, parasites, or diseases into the country. For this reason, your items may be pulled for inspection at any point before release from customs.

If your item is suspected to contain materials that could cause harm to the local ecosystem, then the item may be inspected, and a charge incurred. Specific guidance for this can be found here.



What Can and Can't I send?

There are a number of items that are either prohibited or restricted from being sent to Australia, and it is vital that, as the sender, you ensure any items sent are not included in the prohibited list.

Specific guidance on items considered prohibited can be found on the Australian Government website. It is important you consult this first before sending any items you are unsure of.

Items you Can’t Ship to Australia that May Surprise You

Australia has a relatively isolated, unique ecosystem, so threats to this often include items such as plants, food, and chemicals such as pesticides. These are all items you’d not be able to ship to Australia, but you may not have considered the following restricted items:

  1. Seeds - you’re not allowed to import any kind of seeds
  2. Milk – unless it is from New Zealand
  3. Christmas Decorations - these are often sent to be destroyed (at your expense) because they include pine cones, holly and various wooden items such as carvings and baskets. This can also include furniture if you don’t have the right documentation, as all plant and wood products are restricted as a biosecurity measure.
  4. Any air shipment that is from or travelled via Egypt, Bangladesh or Somalia
  5. Shipments that are made up of multiple packages from multiple suppliers combined into a single shipment
  6. Items that may be contaminated - this can be flagged for items such as bikes, animal bedding, rugs, campaign equipment, barbecues and wetsuits. It’s important to thoroughly clean any items that may be contaminated with plant or animal material. You may risk any items that don’t pass customs to be professionally cleaned or destroyed at your expense.
  7. Paintball guns and paintballs

COMMONLY PROHIBITED ITEMS

  • Cat and dog fur products
  • Dogs - dangerous breeds
  • Endangered animal and plant species - CITES
  • Fish, Animals and plants
  • Tobacco - unmanufactured leaf and tobacco refuse
  • Toothfish
  • Australian native animals and plant species, Animals and plants
  • Ceramic ware - glazed
  • Tobacco - Chewing and oral snuff
  • Lighters
  • Competition and Consumer Act goods
  • Cosmetics - toxic materials
  • Credit cards - counterfeit
  • Dog collars - protrusions
  • Erasers, novelty – toxic materials
  • Fly swatter mosquito bats - electronic
  • Incandescent lamps
  • Laser pointers
  • Money boxes, novelty - toxic materials
  • Pencils or paintbrushes - toxic materials
  • Toys - toxic materials
  • Biological agents
  • Certain chemical compounds
  • Defence and Strategic Goods
  • Nuclear Material
  • Radioactive substances
  • Security Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate (SSAN)
  • Anabolic or androgenic substances
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Growth hormones and substances of human or animal origin
  • New psychoactive substances and serious drug alternatives
  • Precursor substances
  • Prescription medicines
  • Therapeutic drugs, substances and goods
  • Tobacco
  • Firearms and firearms parts, accessories and ammunition
  • Imitation firearms
  • Paintball markers
  • Soft air (BB) firearms
  • Asbestos
  • Explosives
  • Hazardous waste
  • Ozone depleting substances, synthetic greenhouse gases
  • Pesticides and other hazardous chemicals
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Terphenyls and Polyphenyls - Chemicals
  • Mercury
  • ANZAC
  • Cultural heritage goods
  • Cultural heritage goods from Papua New Guinea
  • Goods bearing an image of an Australian state or territory Arms, flag, or seal
  • Goods bearing an image of the Arms, flag or seal of the Commonwealth
  • Pepper and OC spray
  • Rough diamonds - Kimberley Process
  • Human body fluids, organs and other tissue
  • Ice Pipes
  • Kava
  • Pornography and objectionable material
  • Signal jammers  signal jamming devices
  • Suicide devices
  • Tablet Presses and Encapsulators
  • Viable material derived from human embryo clones
  • Wine and brandy
  • Woolpacks
  • Chemical weapons
  • Knives and daggers
  • Warfare Goods and other Weapons
  • Body armour and extendable batons
  • Electromagnetic Weapons Weapons
  • What are Australia’s Top Imports?

    According to the OEC, in 2020, Australia was the biggest importer of Sodium or Potassium Peroxides and Horsehair Fabric. The top in industries they import for include:

    • Cars
    • Refined Petroleum rail
    • Gold
    • Broadcasting Equipment
    • Computers

    As an economy, Australian trade has been growing over the past few years and the fastest growing import market in 2019-2020 was China at $4.16B. It’s a considerably strong economy in terms of growth and relies heavily on import and exports to continue this.

    Find out more about shipping to Australia below!


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