ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Sealing bags and packages

How to correctly seal bags and packages.

Last updated 21 April 2022

You must not give goods to a purchaser unless the goods are in a sealed bag or package.

The bag must be sealed in such a way that the goods cannot be removed from the package without the seal being broken.

Sealed bag and package warning

Each sealed bag and package must have the following warning placed on it.


  • You must take this sealed bag or package with you when you leave Australia. Do not leave it at home or give it to anyone else.
  • You must carry this bag or package by hand in full view at the airport or seaport. It must not be packed in a suitcase or in hand luggage.
  • Ensure that authorised collection officers collect the invoice attached to the bag or package after you have passed through the ABF border clearance area.
  • This bag or package must not be tampered with or opened. It must remain sealed until the invoice has been collected.
  • If you do not take the goods out of Australia within 60 days of obtaining them, you must immediately return the sealed bag or package containing the unused goods to the store where you purchased them.

If you fail to observe these rules, you may be liable to a penalty.

Creating a sealed bag

To create a sealed bag, use the following steps.

  1. Place the customer's copy of the sales invoice inside the bag to be sealed so the details are visible (that is, facing outward and visible through the clear side of the bag).
  2. Using staples, a heat-sealing machine or other sealing device, place as many non-removable seals as necessary to cover the top opening of the bag.
  3. Make sure at least one non-removable seal covers access through the handle.
  4. Place the border clearance copy of the sales invoice in a waterproof plastic envelope.
  5. Staple this envelope to the sealed point of the carry bag (do not staple through the invoice).
  6. Attach the printed warning to the package.

Creating a sealed package

To create a sealed package:

  1. choose a box that has a hinge or lid at one end
  2. close the lid and seal it
  3. use three non-removable seals over opening points at lid (use more if necessary)
  4. place at least three non-removable seals over corresponding opening points at the other end of the box
  5. put more non-removable seals around the edges of the lid
  6. place the border clearance copy of the sales invoice in a waterproof plastic envelope and attach it securely on the outside
  7. attach the printed warning to the package.