I'm a bit of a hobbyist cocktail mixer, and as such I have a nicely stocked bar at home. In a couple of weeks, I will be migrating to Australia (from The Netherlands, if it matters), and I'm trying to work out how I can take as much with me as possible. Almost all containers are bottles and almost all of them are opened. I hope to be using much of it during a farewell party, but there are a couple of special / pricey bottles that I'd love to take with me.

Save from the 2.25 liters per person I'm allowed to take on board an airplane, what are my options for bringing the rest of it? I'll be loading a shipping container with all my furniture, but I'm unsure if loading it with alcohol is a good idea.

  • 4
    How much is a lot? Note that 2.25 L is not the limit you're allowed to take on board an airplane, it's the duty-free limit. You may or may not be allowed to take more on the plane and you are definitely allowed to import more (only it will cost you, involve additional paperwork and may not be worth the trouble). In any case, you might want to ask on expatriates.SE as it seems your question has been nominated to be closed.
    – Relaxed
    Oct 29, 2018 at 19:49
  • 1
    Also, most airlines these days won't let you go through security with a large amount of any fluid. You'll have your 2.25 liters confiscated before you even get on the plane. That allotment is for consideration of people who purchase while at a duty free airport store.
    – user27701
    Oct 29, 2018 at 21:33
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    @fredsbend the duty free exemption also applies to people who are importing alcohol that they acquired elsewhere than in the airport; they just have to put it in their checked bags.
    – phoog
    Oct 29, 2018 at 21:42
  • @Relaxed "a lot" would be an arbitrary volume over 2.25 liters, but if it really matters, it'd be about 25 bottles of hard liquor. I was considering expatriates.SE. Should this question be moved instead? Oct 30, 2018 at 6:13
  • @MarcDingena Yes it's better over there. We can vote to close for migration.
    – user40521
    Oct 30, 2018 at 7:22

2 Answers 2


I cannot answer for Australia specifically, but generally, when you move to a country, everything that belongs to your household is exempted from customs duty. This include arger amounts of alcoholic drinks, opened or unopened.

This is anecdotal, but a good example: I moved to the USA with my household, including wine and single malt collections, ~100 + 40 bottles respectively, and it was fine.

Of course, you would not take that on a plane; you'd ship it in a container or similar. Alone the weight makes it impossible to take as luggage. Make sure the container is transported air-conditioned - although this is pretty much standard, you should check it.


At the airport? It's illegal. 2.25L is the limit, anything above and you are breaking the arrival laws. There is no workaround, the same way there is no work around for speeding faster than the posted limit.

In shipping? It's costly or illegal, depending on your declarations. Taxes on alcohol are strict and high.

You can however: Bring the alcohol and declare it then pay the tax. The taxes are based on alcohol percentage, volume and purchase cost.

I bring alcohol in frequently, 2.25L is the best amount without added costs and stress. Everything else is heavily taxed.

  • 4
    Your answer is confusingly worded: as you state later on, the "workaround" to bringing more than 2.25L is simply to declare it and pay the taxes. Oct 30, 2018 at 0:28
  • That's not a workaround to bringing in 2.25L tax-free though. Peeing on the floor isn't a workaround to never having to clean the toilet.
    – insidesin
    Oct 30, 2018 at 0:29
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    The OP did not state that they want to bring it in tax-free. Oct 30, 2018 at 2:04
  • Yes. You're right. I did. @jpatokal
    – insidesin
    Oct 30, 2018 at 2:40
  • You didn't either. Oct 30, 2018 at 3:07

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