Quarantine and customs

Before you leave home, you need to be aware of restrictions on what you can bring into Australia.

Australia has strict quarantine laws in place to help prevent the spread of pests and diseases. Many items are not allowed to be imported into Australia, including:

  • live plants
  • live animals
  • dairy
  • eggs.

You need to declare if you’re taking such items with you. You can do this using the incoming passenger card given to you before you disembark your flight, which is then used in the customs process. Failure to declare items of quarantine concern can result in on-the-spot fines or even prosecution.

You must also declare any plant, animal, seed, wood, shell and feather products. However, you may be allowed to bring these into the country.

Declaring an item means it will be inspected by a quarantine officer and returned to you if it passes inspection. The item may need to be treated before it’s returned to you.

While this may not sound encouraging, if you don’t declare items of quarantine concern and they’re identified by an officer, you may be liable for on-the-spot fines or even prosecution.

For further information on what you can take with you, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

You can bring the following goods into Australia duty free in your accompanied baggage:

  • 2.25L alcoholic liquor per adult
  • 25 grams tobacco (equal to approximately 25 cigarettes, plus an open packet)
  • personal items such as clothing, footwear, items for personal hygiene or grooming (but not fur or perfume concentrates)
  • personal goods owned and used for 12 months or more (proof of date of purchase may be required)
  • goods, not including alcohol or tobacco, to the value of A$900 per adult; gifts, given to you or intended for others, are counted as part of the A$900 duty free allowance.

If you have anything with you in excess of the duty-free goods allowance, declare the goods and provide proof of purchase to Customs. They will calculate any duty and tax to be paid.

There is no limit to the amount of Australian or foreign currency you can bring with you. However, you must declare amounts over A$10,000.

If you are bringing any medicines with you, check with your local Australian diplomatic mission to confirm that the medicine you require is permitted into the country. You may wish to bring a letter from your doctor describing the medicine and its purpose.

The Department of Health features additional advice for travellers bringing medications into Australia.