Customs formalities in Australia

Customs formalities in Australia
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Updated 2019-07-26 13:54

Australia is a country that takes biosecurity and safety very seriously, meaning there are many restrictions as to products you can bring with you to Australia. This is to protect Australia's agriculture and unique wildlife from pests and diseases. When you arrive in Australia, you will be required to complete a customs card, called the Incoming Passenger Card, declaring the items that you will be bringing into the country. It is important to answer the questions honestly and accurately.

What is allowed into Australia

If you are relocating or visiting Australia, there are many things that cannot be brought with you, as they will not be allowed into the country. These items include fresh fruit such as apples, mandarins, and oranges. Homemade food also isn't allowed so any meals, cakes, or anything else you have made, are generally not allowed into Australia. Do not take any ship or plane food off the carriage with you either.

Important:

For everything else, you must declare it. If you do not declare risk goods you will be caught, and you may be fined. Serious offences may have you jailed for up to ten years or fined more than AUD 420,000.

Certain food, animal products and plant materials should be declared and if you are not sure, declare them anyway. Some of these products include; dairy and egg products, plant material, food and equipment of animals, and outdoor, camping and sports equipment. For a full list, visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. When you declare your items, a biosecurity officer will check them and may ask for more information. If the goods are low risk, they will be returned to you. However, if they are high risk, you may have to pay to have the goods treated, or they may have to be exported from Australia, or possibly destroyed.

Duty-free items

Duty-free items such as alcohol, tobacco and general goods must also be declared, and there are also limits you must adhere to. General goods are limited to AUD 900 for adults, AUD 450 for children, 2.25 litres for alcohol, and 25 cigarettes or 25 grams of tobacco. As a family travelling together, you can combine allowances. For example, a family of two adults and two children would have a combined duty free allowance of AUD 2,700 for general goods. If you bring more than the duty-free allowance, you will need to pay duty on all the goods, not just the excess.

You can also bring medicines for personal use in, but again, you must declare it, and there are some restrictions. No steroids at all are allowed, but hormones, kava, and sedatives are allowed but must be declared. Weapons of any kind generally sit on the don't bring list, but there are a few like fixed blade knives or multi-tool knives that are allowed but again, must be declared.

Important:

There will also be limits on what you can bring on the airline you are travelling with so always remember to check their sites. For Australia, your carry on limits are:
Liquids, aerosols, and/or gels in containers with a maximum capacity of 100ml each.
Inorganic powders less than 350 milliliters or 350 grams per person.
Learn more about what powders, liquids and gels you can take with you on your plane here.

For a comprehensive list, you can check the Australian Border Force which allows you to search by item to see if you must declare it, or if you are not allowed to bring it at all.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.