IMPORTATION OF HHGPE INTO AUSTRALIA
Household Goods and Personal Effects entering Australia in order to be a duty/tax free importation must meet the criteria to be classified as such, ie., goods must have been owned and used by the shipper for at least 12 months prior to shipping and the owner of the goods must be arriving in Australia no later than 6 months after the shipment.
Unlike many other countries, shipments of personal and household effects entering Australia are not permitted to be delivered from the port/airport directly to client residence. All shipments must go via an approved Customs and Quarantine Bonded Depot such as OSS World Wide Movers depot, primarily due to the mandatory Quarantine Inspection process.
For Sole Use FCL shipments the container is moved “under bond” from the port to our depot where it is carefully unstuffed into one of our own OSS containers. Typically the OSS container is placed on the ground about 1m from the shipping lines container and goods transferred by our crew. At this time, goods are tallied and any discrepancies or obvious damages noted. The shipping lines container is then returned to the shipping line’s empty depot.
LCL and Airfreight shipments are likewise moved “under bond” to our depot and prepared for the Quarantine Inspection there.
Items of quarantine interest are identified from the packing list/descriptive inventory and are put to one side and loaded at the doors of the OSS container for ease of access at the time of the inspection.
FCL shipments remain in the OSS container(s) until the Quarantine Inspection is finalised and ready for delivery, which also is usually in the same OSS container(s).
There are two levels of clearance to be obtained, one from Customs (Australian Border Force) and one from Quarantine (DAWR or Department of Agriculture and Water Resources). The client/transferee is not required to attend at these Inspections.
Once both the Clearances have been obtained, the delivery can be arranged. Customs clearance usually takes place first (Customs examinations are infrequent) followed by the Quarantine Inspection (every shipment is Quarantine inspected) and clearance.
For further information about sending personal belongings to Australia, see:
Timespan – Port or Airport to Residence
Clearance and delivery of HHGPE shipments arriving in Australia normally take the following time periods from arrival until delivered at residence (based on residence in same city/area).
It is important for your client to provide us their delivery address one week prior to shipment ETA. Storage charges will generally apply 10 days after the vessel ETA if clearance and delivery has not been finalised by that time. Please note clearances at certain times can be faster or slower than at other times.
Full container loads (FCLs)
From the vessel arrival date it usually takes 7-10 working days (excluding Saturday and Sunday and Public Holidays) for the shipment to move from the wharf, be unstuffed ready for Quarantine Inspection, inspected by Quarantine and for clearance release to be received from both Quarantine and Customs, then scheduled for delivery to residence.
Same process as for FCLs with the process usually taking 12-15 working days from ETA however we must wait for the NVOCC forwarders agent in Australia to unstuff the FAK (freight of all kind container) and make the LCL shipment available for us to collect from the Forwarders depot and transfer them under bond to our OSS bonded depot, the procedure then is the same as for FCL (Quarantine Inspection/Clearances/Schedule and perform delivery).
Same process as for FCLs with unstuffing/deconsolidation of the container taking place at our warehouse by our staff then Quarantine Inspection/Clearances/Scheduling and performing delivery, all up 10-13 working days.
The normal timespan is 5-7 working days from freight arrival until delivery. We move cargo from airport under bond to our bonded warehouse for Quarantine Inspection/Clearances/Schedule and performing delivery.
It is critical with air shipments you forward us documentation at least 24 hours prior to arrival (see below re weekend arrival) in order to avoid serious issues with Customs.
AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS REQUIRE ALL SEA CARGO TO BE REPORTED NO LATER THAN 48 HOURS PRIOR TO ETA IN AUSTRALIA AND AIR FREIGHT 2 HOURS PRIOR TO AIRCRAFT ARRIVAL. PLEASE THEREFORE ENSURE THAT ALL SEA FREIGHT DOCUMENTATION IS FORWARDED AT LEAST 5 DAYS PRIOR TO VESSEL ARRIVAL AND AIR FREIGHT 24 HOURS PRIOR TO ARRIVAL, (SEE BELOW RE WEEKEND ARRIVAL) IN ORDER TO AVOID FINANCIAL PENALTIES WHICH AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS HAVE ADVISED WILL BE IMPOSED AND ENFORCED.
Client’s residential address must be noted on your pre-alert. It is advisable to send Airfreight to arrive in Australia on either a Mon/Tues/Wed as we only have 24-48 hours in which to clear the freight and collect it from the air terminal before storage charges apply. This is very difficult if the freight arrives on Thurs/Fri since some freight forwarders include Sat/Sun in this 24-48 hour period. Weekend arrival can also make it virtually impossible for us to comply with the 2 hours prior to arrival customs reporting deadline.
Please fax/email a copy of the Master Airway bill as soon as available and the AWB should be consigned to OSS World Wide Movers, not the client.
Timespan – Peak Periods (Christmas etc)
The months of December and January each year in Australia is the summer vacation period and school holiday period. It is also the period of peak activity in the removal industry as it is the time Government Agencies (Police, Teachers etc) transfer their staff domestically. The 31st December is also the time many corporations transfer their staff or engage in expat contract transfers in/out. Private individuals also seek to move in/out just before Christmas or across the school holiday period mid-December to end January, when they are off work.
In December there are 2 Public Holidays for Christmas and Boxing Day and in January 2 other Public Holidays for New Year‘s Day and Australia Day (26th January). Where these days fall on weekends the Public Holidays flow over into the following week.
Therefore if your client is looking for delivery on a specific date we suggest you consider the following, bearing in mind storage will apply after 10 days from ETA (FCL & airfreight) 15 days from ETA (LCL & groupage) which is the period we allow for normal clearance and delivery process:
Normal time of year
FCLs 7-10 working days from ETA
Groupage 10-13 working days from ETA
LCL 12-15 working days from ETA
Airfreight 5-7 working days from ETA
FCLs 12-18 working days from ETA
Groupage 15-22 working days from ETA
LCL 16-20 working days from ETA
Airfreight 7-10 working days from ETA
Any planned delivery dates across the December/January period should factor in the above and you should ensure you communicate such requirements to us at the earliest possible time so we can work with you for the best outcome.
Finally, despite being period of peak activity, December/January is also the period during which both Government Agencies Australian Border Force (Customs) and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (Quarantine) tend to be short-staffed (staff on leave etc.,) so normal clearances and inspections can take longer than at other times.
The cumulative effect of the above can mean the normal 7-10 working days for Clearance and Delivery of FCLs (and 10-12 days for Groupage, 12-15 days for LCL and 5-7 days for Airfreight) can be virtually doubled and the uncertainty involved due to Custom and Quarantine manning make it more difficult to pre-commit dates to clients.
OSS continues operations across this period only being closed on weekends and on the Public Holidays mentioned above.
Please bear in mind that despite the above if we manage to finalise clearance quickly then storage will apply after 10 days from ETA for FCLs and airfreight and 15 days from ETA for LCL and groupage.