Packing UPE

Do not pack your Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPE) in non-laminated wooden boxes (chipboard) or use unsuitable packaging such as torn/flimsy/light plastic, as these materials can easily be dislodged or broken in transit. Expeditioners should ensure all UPE items are packaged appropriately for road/air/sea transport. The following steps are recommended:

  1. Pack UPE items in sturdy cartons or strong plastic bins.
  2. Each piece should not exceed 15 kg.
  3. Clearly mark each piece with expeditioner name, contact number, flight/voyage, and station name and item number e.g. 1 of 5, 2 of 5, etc.

Consigning UPE

  1. Create personal effects Econ at least 30 days before transport departure.
  2. Itemise the packages and contents of each package in the personal effects Econ, so that they match your UPE items.
  3. Submit the personal effects Econ no later than 10 days before transport arrival.

Note: expeditioners should weigh their UPE at station no later than 10 days before transport arrival. Delivery of UPE items will be negotiated with the Station Supply Officer.For expeditioners traveling from Antarctica or round-tripping on a marine science voyage, you must complete an unaccompanied personal effects statement (B534e From) for customs purposes in addition to creating an Econ. For expeditioners traveling to Macquarie Island, the unaccompanied personal effects statement (b534e) is not applicable .

UPE clearances after RTA (import)

For a smooth clearance process, it is recommended the information in your UPE Econ exactly matches the information on the B534 Form. If this information does not exactly match, the clearance process may be delayed.

External regulatory bodies (eg Australian Border Force and/or Quarantine Tasmania) may need to inspect the contents of UPE items after they are imported back to Australia. It is recommended that UPE items are not locked in case inspections are required. If expeditioners want UPE items to be secured before the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) arranges on forwarding, expeditioners should provide a luggage lock for their items and hand this to the AAD Supply Services staff at the Cargo and Biosecurity Centre (CBC) when they arrive back to Hobart.

Clearance and transport transit times are subject to many variables including but not limited to:

  • Suitable and correct paperwork submitted by the expeditioner to the AAD
  • Availability of relevant external regulatory bodies to activate the release requests
  • Availability of freight companies to facilitate the pick-up and delivery to the intended destination

After a vessel or flight arrives back to Hobart and is unloaded, it can take up to 15 working days for external regulatory bodies to inspect and/or clear the items. If items are not cleared there will be delays. Once cleared the AAD will forward UPE items to the nominated address on the B534 Form and corresponding personal effects Econ.

For UPE items from Macquarie Island, the AAD will forward these to the nominated address in the personal effects Econ.


Post clearance indicative transit times are:

  • Tasmania: 1–3 days
  • Victoria: 3–4 days
  • Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia: 7–10 days
  • Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia: 10 days

For further assistance regarding personal effects, contact Supply Services.

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