Tips For Shipping Your Stuff From The UK To Australia


Australia has a thousand and one good reasons why you should move there. The only downside we can think of is the creepy crawlies. But you get used to those; you just have to think of them as unwanted house guests.

So if you’ve decided Australia will be the next port of call in your life, you’ll need to do some serious thinking about what to take and how to get it to your final destination safely.

Local import laws – Shipping to Australia

The first thing you need to do is take into consideration the local import laws. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) have a set of quite strict regulations around the import of food, plants and animal materials into the country in order to prevent pests and diseases entering and affecting the natural environment. We all know what happened with Johnny Depp’s furry friends recently.

Shipping – Don’ts

The following types of items will be seized and destroyed by AQIS, so don’t try to ship them!

  • Any dairy products (unless listed as being from a country confirmed free of foot and mouth disease)
  • Live plants (including potted, bare rooted, roots and bulbs)
  • Seeds and nuts (including cereal grains, popping corn and pine cones – including those in decorations!)
  • Uncanned meat products (from any animal, including preserved or dried meats)
  • Refrigerators, air conditioners or anything else containing CFCs or HCFCs

In addition, AQIS will frown upon any item covered in mud such as boots or camping equipment so make you clean and disinfect everything thoroughly before packing. And if you’re taking any of the following items, please note they could be problematic if they’ve not been washed and cleaned:

  • Shoes and footwear (soles must be properly sterilised)
  • Clothing used in countryside areas that could carry seeds, plant bits or soil
  • Sports equipment and clothing (including golf gear, fishing equipment, bicycles, etc.)
  • Camping equipment (tents, stoves, bedding, etc.)
  • Gardening equipment (lawn mowers, patio furniture, gardening tools, etc.)
  • Outdoor toys and other play equipment (swing sets, paddling pools, outdoor rockers, etc.)

Once you’ve worked out what you’re going to take, what’s the best way in transporting it to your new Aussie home?

Sea freight is the preferred choice for many because it’s a greener option than air freight and much more affordable. The only downside is due to the process of international shipping, your items will take much longer to get from A to B whereas air freight takes a fraction of the time. A good tip would be to plan a sea freight transfer as early as you possibly can. Start packing up boxes today, even if you’re not leaving till next year!

Packing tips for Shipping

  • Always stick a label to every box you pack with a full list of the contents. It sounds like a chore and, well, it is, but if you find yourself in Australia, staring at a hundred boxes, wondering which one the kettle is in, you’ll only have yourself to blame
  • Check both locations in the UK and Australia to determine where the best place will be to park the removal lorry or container. There may be parking restrictions you don’t know about at the new place
  • Don’t just drape a bit of bubble wrap over your treasured possessions. Your boxes are going halfway round the world in various forms of transport – wrap all fragile items tightly and securely
  • Check that TVs and other devices will even work in Australia before you start wrapping them and putting them in boxes

So that’s it.

Should you be looking for a revolutionary, hassle-free approach to removals, why not check out the MoveCube® from Seven Seas Worldwide? It’s a mini shipping container inside a trailer that comes directly to your home for loading!

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