Man charged over suspect embassy packages

Mail deliveries allegedly containing asbestos sparked the evacuation and closure of embassies and consulates in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.

Victorian man Savas Avan, 49, faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday, charged with sending 38 dangerous articles in the post.

He was arrested on Wednesday night at his Shepparton home, hours after consulates in Melbourne were forced into lockdown having received suspicious packages in the mail.

A prosecutor told court the deliveries contained asbestos and Avan did not apply for bail.

Federal and Victorian police allege the asbestos was sourced from his Shepparton home.

"Police have so far recovered 29 of these packages, with forensic testing to be undertaken on them to determine the exact composition of the material in them," the federal and state police said in a joint statement.

"Police have identified all intended recipients and have put processes in place to recover the outstanding packages. There is no ongoing threat to the general public."

India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States consulates were among a number across Melbourne and Canberra targeted with suspicious packages on Wednesday, sparking an emergency "hazardous material" response and some evacuations.

It came two days after Sydney's Argentinian consulate was partially evacuated following reports of a suspicious substance.

But at least two consulates in Melbourne did not contact authorities about packages until they received an email from the Australian government.

The Greek Consulate General on St Kilda Road and the Pakistani consulate in Albert Park both received suspect packages but did not contact authorities straight away.

Greek vice-consul Georgia Botsiou told SBS Greek radio it had received the package on Friday afternoon.

"It didn't have a return address. Written on the top was 'samples' and because it didn't have a return address and without it having a note inside, we thought it was suspicious and, because of that, we isolated it from the start" Ms Botsiou said, translated from Greek.

The Pakistani consulate was delivered a package at 10am on Wednesday but only contacted authorities when prompted by an email from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, according to The Age.

DFAT told AAP it had sent an email to all Canberra-based diplomatic missions on Tuesday and then to other consulates across Australia.

"After learning of incidents at three offices in Sydney and Canberra, DFAT sent a note to all diplomatic missions in Canberra on January 8 alerting them to the possibility of suspicious packages being delivered by mail," a spokesman said.

Avan is expected back in court on March 4.