Sending your belongings as unaccompanied goods

Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPEs) include your household and personal items that you are importing into Australia.  UPEs may arrive in Australia by air, sea cargo or by international mail (post). If certain conditions are met, your UPEs may be cleared from customs control without requiring you to lodge an import declaration or pay duty, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or other taxes and charges. A completed Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement (B534 form) is generally all that is required to clear UPEs from customs control. See information below on How do I clear my personal effects?

To be eligible to import items as UPEs you must be arriving from a place outside Australia and the items must be your personal property that you owned and used whilst overseas for at least 12 months before departing for Australia. Imported goods that are owned for less than 12 months are subject to duty and GST assessment.

UPEs do not include bequeathed items or items that have been purchased over the internet.

UPEs do not include motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts and commercial goods.


Customs law and Tax law provide a duty and GST free concession for certain items imported as unaccompanied personal effects provided certain requirements are met.

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

Duty free concessions that apply to alcohol and tobacco products that are carried 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 arrive in Australia and are declared as UPEs, are assessed for duty, GST and/or Wine Equalisation Tax (WET).

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to import items as UPEs 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 UPEs must complete an Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement (B534 form) to have their goods cleared by the Department.  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 our offices in Australia, from your customs broker, or on our 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 some of our offices 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 the Department 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.

The Department may ask for further information to assist in the UPEs clearance process. As the B534 form is a joint declaration to both the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Department of Agriculture, relevant information will be directed to Department of Agriculture for assessment.  Please refer to the Department of Agriculture website for further details regarding their clearance process of UPEs.

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

In accordance with the Client Service Charter and Standards, we aim to process an Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement by close of business on the third working day after we receive a complete and accurate statement, subject to any regulatory requirements.