Before you can even begin to pack your household goods into their huge container boxes, you need to search the net for a checklist on household items that you can actually bring into Australia without any problem. Like it or not, there are some household items and personal effects that are considered illegal to bring into Australia.
Having this checklist also serves another purpose. When packing your stuff, eventually you’ll need to hire a shipping company to transport them, bring them into the port and clear them through customs to get them ready to be transported to their new country of destination. The thing is, there are many types of container sizes and prices to choose from. Each carries a different value and it’s up to you to decide which one is more cost-effective. For instance, if you have less than 15 cbm (cubic meters-the standard for freight) worth of household items and goods, then it’s more cost-effective for you to use the LCL Cargo. LCL Cargo means Less than a Container or more commonly known as “Share a Container” service. If you have more than 15cbm but less than 30cbm, then a 1 x 20ft container is your next best choice. Pricing for different container sizes will depend on the shipping company that you hire.
Normally, when you’re shipping to Australia, you need to pay for your personal goods in cash at the Port of Departure. This only ensures that you’ve paid the necessary fees and taxes and the government of your country of origin has approved the transfer of goods. If for some unexplained reason, there is a problem with your payment, when your goods have reached Australia, the Port of Arrival won’t be able to immediately release your property until such time that the payment is met. If after the appointed time, you still haven’t managed to produce the payment, the Port has the right to auction your cargo.
Once your possessions have arrived in Australia, they don’t get immediately delivered “door-to-door”. In fact, they will still be at the mercy of the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service. This is where your shipping or box shipping company comes in handy. They will be representing you in their dealings with the Australian Port authorities. With your payment for their services, they will be your credit referee (credit ratings are important in Australia, your customs agent, clearing the way for you to get your goods at the soonest possible time.
Most websites on Australian shipping mention having to pay A$2,600 plus GST per 20 foot container security deposit. This security deposit covers little details like payment for getting the container off the ship and onto the wharf, getting a bond on the goods for inspection, unpacking quarantine inspection and putting the empty cargo container and into the container park.
Lastly, Australian authorities will require your packing list and a copy of your passport.
Reading about Australian shipping seems like a complicated process and it is. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it would be more prudent to let the professionals handle it, even if you are shipping boxes to Australia.