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CUSTOM Matters! (WHAT YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE COMING TO AUSTRALIA)

Australian customs have strict policies on what can be brought inside the Australian border. You need to be aware of what you cannot bring into Australia and therefore what you should not pack. It is also important that your family and friends at home are aware of what they cannot send to you through the mail.

 

Can I bring my medications?

If you are on medication, check with your local Australian diplomatic mission to confirm the kind and amount of medicine permitted into Australia. For customs clearance, it is advisable to have a letter or a prescription from your doctor describing the medication and your medical condition.

What About traditional food from home?

Australia has a unique natural environment that is free from many of the pests and diseases found elsewhere in the world. It is therefore important for Australia to prevent the potential introduction of exotic pests and possible diseases from outsides.

Many foodstuffs, plants and animal products may not be brought into Australia. Passengers coming into Australia are required by law to declare such items on the Incoming Passenger Card (which you will receive on the plane before disembarkation) no matter how small or trivial they may seem.

If you do not declare items of quarantine concern, you may be liable for on-the-spot fines. Just one piece of your favourite fruit could cost you $220!

How much money can I bring?

Aside from quarantine issues, when travelling to Australia, if you are carrying a total of AUS$10,000 or more, or equivalent in foreign currency, you must declare the money on your Incoming Passenger Card and when questioned by Australian Customs officials upon arrival. If you dont declare this money, it may result in the money being taken and you being punished by imprisonment.

There is no limit to the amount of Australian or foreign currency you bring with you, but it is an offence not declaring the money.

Some handy hints:

  • Students coming to Australia, either for the first time or coming back from your school holiday, should carefully read the following brochure issued by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) regarding items that you cannot take into Australia.
  • The information also comes in languages other than English.
  • If in any doubt whether the items you bring are permitted or not, it is best to declare them. Declaring goods does not necessarily mean your baggage will be examined.
  • Quarantine officers in Australia are used to finding the weirdest bits and pieces in the line of duty, including: food such as chickens feet, pigs trotters, fish sausage or duck intestine. They are highly experienced and will not be fooled.
  • Many of the food items you may want to bring into Australia or have sent to you through the mail are readily available in Australian shops. So dont risk it!