Packing Declaration: Definition And Template For Australian Customs

A packing declaration is a mandatory document for importers shipping into Australia.

Packing declarations are only necessary for sea freight shipments, declaring what kind of material has been used to pack goods. There are two kinds of packing declarations, one being a single sea freight shipment declaration and the other being an annual declaration (which lasts for twelve months). Note, however, that if you are dealing with several suppliers you will require an annual declaration for each supplier.

What Is a Packing Declaration For?

The purpose of a packing declaration is to inform Australian customs authorities of the type of material that has been used to pack your goods. This is required for biosecurity purposes, so customs can ensure harmful materials do not enter into Australia.

There is certain packing material that is not permitted, including hay, chaff, bamboo, peat, straw as well as used fruit and vegetable cartons. If your packing material contains wood, straw or bark, then your goods will need to be fumigated as part of the ISPM 15 compliance, which can be arranged by domestic customs authorities.

Document Requirements

Your packing declaration should include the following details:

  • The letterhead, name and address of the packer or supplier of the goods;
  • The name of the cargo’s vessel and the voyage number;
  • The name of the exporter and importer (for annual declaration);
  • Any relevant numbers of markings associated with the consignment;
  • A declaration as to whether your packing material contains any ‘unacceptable material’ (including straw, peat, hay, chaff and used fruit & vegetable cartons);
  • A declaration as to whether your goods contain any timber, bamboo or dunnage – this includes cates, cases, pallets, skids any other timber or bamboo used as a shipping aid;
  • A declaration that your packing material has been properly treated (if it is bamboo, dunnage or timber); and
  • A declaration that your goods are clean and free from animal and/or plant material, including soil (if the shipment is an FCL consignment).

Packing Declaration Template (Word)

One Last Tip!

Please note that if your goods require fumigation but you do not organise fumigation for your goods before they enter Australia, it is a requirement that the goods are fumigated once they enter the country. They will need to be treated by a company accredited under the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme and additional charges will be levied.

If you need any assistance with your packing declaration, do not hesitate to get in contact with our friendly freight experts.

Request a Free Quote or call us on 1300 227 461


Johan Verdin

I have a question related do document 2021-Packing-Declaration-Per-Shipping-Add-Letter-Head.

A1 square is not filled in. If I enable ‘NO’ , then also A3 Treated… Dept. of Agriculture is also filled in…
Is this correct ? Seems these 2 squares are the same fields.
In the ‘annual doc’ this is not the case..
Thank you.

International Cargo Express

Hi Johan,

Question A1 relates to unacceptable packaging material such as straw, peat, hay, chaff, used fruit & vegetable cartons.

Question 2 and 3 are directly related and refer specifically to timber or bamboo packaging.

We hope this is of help but please feel free to call us directly if you have any further concerns.


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