Sending Items to Overseas Troops

A number of community-based organisations and community members have expressed a wish to send care packages to Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel serving on overseas operations on Christmas Day. In response to this generosity, the ADF has established special mailing addresses. These will operate from 22 October 2012 until 7 December 12.

Please visit the ADF website for 2013 dates

If you would like to support our service men and women, you are able to send parcels through Australia Post provided they meet the following guidelines:

  • for postal security reasons, you will need to present a photographic identification
  • you can post parcels weighing up to a cubed weight of two kilograms in a ‘BM’-sized Australia Post carton free of charge
  • if your parcel exceeds this limit, you will need to pay the full cost
  • articles must be packed in durable packaging, which is suitably secured, to withstand a large volume of weight and handling
  • postal addresses will be active from 22 October 2012 until 7 December 2012 and packages will be distributed throughout the operational areas
  • care package items most appreciated include uniquely Australian treats such as Tim Tams, lollies, magazines, books and DVDs. (Please note that any food stuffs should be non perishable in nature and sealed in commercial packaging.)
  • and some items must not be sent including cigarettes, alcohol, perfumery products and pornography.

Care Packages for Military Dogs and Explosive Detection Dogs

The Australian public have expressed their support not only for our ADF members, but also their four-legged partners.
Unfortunately, care packages for explosive detection dogs and military dogs, containing items such as toys and food cannot be used by the dogs. The dogs cannot play with the toys, as their tennis ball toy is a key part of their training and the food can’t be used due to the dogs’ strict diets.

Defence would like to thank the public for their generous and kind support for our explosive detection dogs and military dogs and ask that you consider making a donation to your local animal welfare shelter on behalf our dogs.

Please address your parcel to:
An Australian Defence Member
Australian Defence Force NSW 2890

Packaging, Restrictions and Security Procedures

Packaging of postal items

In general, all parcels must be made-up and packed to a standard which will:

  1. prevent injury to the person handling the parcel
  2. prevent the contents escaping and damaging other postal articles
  3. prevent damage to equipment and vehicles, particularly aircraft
  4. protect the contents from loss or damage caused by the stress of handling and carriage
  5. protect the contents from loss or damage caused by the extremes of climate.

Items that are packaged inappropriately will be returned to the person/s concerned for rectification prior to being dispatched. If you are unsure how to pack an item, advice should be sought through Australia Post (

Prohibited goods
Certain items must not be posted in the domestic and or international postal system.  This includes items such as Dangerous Goods, items prohibited by the EMS International Courier Regulations and items that are prohibited by individual countries. People who attempt to send any of the prohibited items by mail may be subject to criminal proceedings and or possible disciplinary action.  Information on specific country restrictions can be found at, your local Post Office or you may seek the advice of your Postal Manager in your location.

Perfumery Products
Regardless of IATA Regulations, Australia Post have deemed “Perfumery Products” as Dangerous Goods and as such they are not to be sent or forwarded through the Defence and civil postal services.

Liquid Articles
The sending of liquid articles is discouraged; however, if you must send a liquid product, the articles must be enclosed in a leak-proof container made of metal, plastic or similar material with secure closures.

The outer package must be strong enough to withstand large volumes of weight.  Furthermore, the package must contain sawdust; cotton-wool or another protective material to absorb the liquid should the container break. Defence has banned cordial from being sent through the Defence Postal Service.

Tobacco is not to be sent through the Defence Postal Service.

Alcohol is not to be sent through the Defence Postal Service.

Customs declaration
A customs declaration must be attached to all parcels sent to or from an AFPO.

Small envelopes, containing items other than letters (ie. computer disks etc) are to also have a customs declaration attached. These can be obtained from all Australia Post outlets within Australia. A detailed description of the contents is required when lodging each item.

Further information is available on the customs internet site at

Security procedures
The Australian Government has introduced new security procedures for posting an article to an overseas country.

Photo identification must be produced by the sender at the time of lodgement for all parcels over 500 grams.

If identification is not shown at the time of lodgement then the parcel will be retained at the Sydney Gateway Facility awaiting Civil Aviation Authority Clearance. This in turn may cause lengthy delays in the delivery of your parcel.

When lodging mail in Australia, families and friends must ensure that the parcel has been “ID verified” with an ORANGE ID VERIFICATION stickerplaced on the item by the postal centre at which the item was lodged.


Additional information