Quarantine and customs

Australian quarantine laws

Australia's quarantine laws are very strict. Many foodstuffs, plants, animal products and some medicines may not be imported into Australia. You are required to declare such items on the incoming passenger card you receive on the plane before you disembark.

If you are bringing any medicines with you, check with your local Australian diplomatic mission to confirm that the amount and kind of medicine you require is permitted. You may wish to bring a letter from your doctor describing the medicine and its purpose. The Department of Health has more advice for travellers bringing medications into Australia.

Goods not permitted: live plants, live animals, dairy and eggs.

Products that must be declared but may be permitted into the country: plant, animal, seed, wood, shell and feather products.

If you declare an item, it will be inspected by a quarantine officer and returned to you if it passes inspection. Articles may need to be treated before being returned to you.

If you do not declare items of quarantine concern, you may be liable for on-the-spot fines or even prosecution.

For more information visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Australian customs regulations

Travellers may bring into Australia the following goods duty free when the goods accompany the passenger:

  • 2.25L alcoholic liquor per adult
  • 50 cigarettes, or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products per adult
  • Personal items such as clothing, footwear, items for personal hygiene or grooming (but not fur or perfume concentrates)
  • Personal goods owned and used for at least 2 months (proof of date of purchase may be required)
  • Goods, not including alcohol or tobacco, to the value of A$900 per adult (e.g. cameras, electronic equipment, sporting goods). 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 for calculation of any duty and tax to be paid. Failure to declare goods in excess of your duty free allowance could result in penalties.

There is no limit to the amount of Australian or foreign currency you may bring with you (but amounts above A$10,000 must be declared).

For further information contact your local Australian diplomatic mission or see the Australian Customs Service website.