Traveling to Australia for a vacation or job? The country has released new rules on what travelers can’t bring – and visa cancellation is possible for those who fail to declare that they are bringing these prohibited items in their luggage!
Due to the threat of serious pests and diseases that could affect the valuable agriculture and tourism industries of Australia, the country has imposed strict bio-security laws that prohibit certain food items, plant materials, and animal products.
The new rules came into effect last April 17, 2019. Under this law, airport authorities are allowed to shorten or even cancel visas if the traveler fails to declare prohibited items upon entry to the country.
Considering that Filipinos love to bring pasalubongs and their favorite foods when traveling, it is important to check this list of prohibited items so you won’t get into any trouble.
Fill out the Incoming Passenger Card with an honest list of food and other items you might be bringing along. The Biosecurity Officers could inspect your bags manually, use a detector dog, or submit the bags through x-ray.
“This is a legal document. You must mark YES on your card to declare if you are carrying certain food, plant material or animal items. You can take these declared goods with you to the clearance point where they will be assessed by a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources biosecurity officer and may be inspected. Alternatively, you can voluntarily dispose of food, plant material or animal items in bins located in the terminal,” the Department of Agriculture advised.
You are allowed to bring the following:
- Maple syrup
These items are not allowed:
- Cereal seeds
- Dairy products
- Dried fruit
- Fresh fruits
- Indian sweets like burfi, ras malai, rasgulla and pedas
- Popping corn
- Raw unroasted nuts
- Uncanned meat and all pork products
- Whole salmon and trout
Everyone is allowed to bring medicines, up to 3 months’ worth of supply, but you have to bring copy of the prescription (written in English) or a letter from the doctor certifying that the medicine has been prescribed to treat a medical condition.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) advises that travelers leave the medicines in its original packaging and declare everything they are bringing.
Plants, Animals, and Other Materials
Flowers and live plants are prohibited; seeds must be declared.
Only those with valid import permit from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources are allowed to bring flowers and live plants.
Live animals, biological materials, straw, raw wool, soil and sand are similarly prohibited.
Failure to Declare a Prohibited Item
If caught with a prohibited item that you did not declare, you may be subject to civil penalties, fines, and/or jail time of up to 10 years. Those found guilty will also be prohibited from returning to Australia for 3 years.
“You will not be penalized under the Biosecurity Act 2015 if you declare all goods, even if they are not allowed into Australia,” the ABF announced.
If unsure whether the food you are bringing might not be allowed, you can still bring it along but make sure to declare it in the Incoming Passenger Card. But be prepared to have the items thrown away if these do not pass the strict screening of the ABF.