unaccompanied effects

Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPEs) include your household and personal items that you are importing into Australia.  This does not include bequeathed items or items that have been purchased over the internet. To import items as unaccompanied personal effects you must be arriving from a place outside Australia the items must be your personal property that you owned whilst overseas.


Customs and Tax law provides a duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) free concession for certain items imported as unaccompanied personal effects provided certain requirements are met.

For more information on these requirements please refer to the Sending Your Personal Belongings to Ausralia as Cargo or by International Mail fact sheet.

Duty free concessions that apply to alcohol and tobacco products that you carry with you when you arrive in Australia do not apply to unaccompanied goods.  Alcohol and tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars or other products containing tobacco) that are imported with your unaccompanied personal effects will be subject to duty, GST and/or Wine Equalisation Tax (WET).

Goods that are owned for less than 12 months will be subject to duty and GST assessment.

Unaccompanied Personal Effects DO NOT include motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts and commercial goods

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to import items as UPE's you must be a migrant who is coming to Australia to take up permanent residence for the first time,  a person returning to resume permanent residence, a temporary resident,  a returning Australian citizen or an Australian citizen who is residing overseas that has returned to Australia temporarily.

How do I clear my personal effects?

The owner of the unaccompanied personal effects must complete an Unaccompanied Effects Statement (B534 form) to have their goods cleared by Customs.  The form must be completed by the owner; however, the owner can nominate a representative such as a freight forwarder, customs broker, friend or relative to act on their behalf.  This form is also available at any Customs office in Australia, from your customs broker, or on the Customs website.  The B534 form is available in a number of foreign languages, however must be completed in English.

The B534 form can be lodged in person at specified Customs counters by the owner of the goods or by the person acting on their behalf.  Along with your B534 form the following documentation must be presented to Customs to clear your goods (either by you or your representative):

It is important to contact your shipping company, airline or freight forwarder before attempting to gain Customs clearance. These companies will advise you of their requirements, their operating hours and the location of the goods.

Customs may ask for further information to assist in the unaccompanied personal effects clearance process.  As the B534 form is a joint declaration to both Customs and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, relevant information will be directed to Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service for assessment.  Please refer to the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service website for further details regarding their clearance process of unaccompanied personal effects.

For further information please refer to the Sending Your Personal Belongings to Australia as Cargo or by International Mail fact sheet.

http://customs.gov.au/site/page4354.asp modified: 21 May, 2013 11:45 AM