3 Items to Avoid Bringing into Australia on Your Next Visit


Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

It’s no secret that Australia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Additionally, the land down under is also an excellent destination for students and people who want to immigrate. 

If your trip to Australia is a more permanent decision, then hopefully you have already started looking into top container fumigation services to relocate your belongings. However, it’s important to note that certain items may not be brought into the country at all. Bringing in any banned items will result in large fines and penalties. 

Know What Items You Can Bring Into Australia

It has been said that Australia’s bio-security laws are among the most stringent in the world. Viewers of the local “Border Security” reality TV program will agree and it may leave potential visitors a bit unsure of the items that can be brought into the country. 

Whether you’ve been to the country before, or you’re planning a visit for the first time, it’s important to keep updated with the latest regulations. Here are a few of the more common rules to keep in mind. 

  1. Food Types

Food items are among the top causes of penalties and fines. The main reason for this is the type of risk that certain foods carry, either in the seeds they have or in the way they have been prepared. Certain seeds and animal products pose a threat of introducing serious pests and diseases into Australia. This in turn devalues the country’s extensive agriculture and tourism industries, which explains the strict rules in place. 

Popular items such as biscuits, Coke, bread, coffee, maple syrup, chocolate and oil are allowed. Items such as dried fruits, certain sweets, tea and spices need to be declared. There are very few food items that you won’t be able to purchase in Australia, so there’s no need to bring unnecessary items with you as you will end up losing most of them during customs inspections.

Each passenger is provided with a Passenger Card when arriving by plane. This card allows you to identify the items you have in your luggage. Being honest about the contents of your luggage will prevent any penalties. 

  1. Regular and Chronic Medicines

Many people are sceptical about finding their specific medications in another country. In the case of chronic conditions, visitors may be afraid to not find their medications in time for their daily treatment times. For this reason, people bring their own medication with them.

The good news is that medicines for personal use are allowed. There are a few rules to keep in mind with these types of medications:

  • The medicine should be accompanied by a letter or copy of the prescription issued by the doctor treating the condition. Keep in mind that this must be written in English. 
  • In addition to printed copies kept in a folder near the medication, it’s a good idea to have the information in digital form on your phone as well.
  • Medication should be in the original box or container issued by the pharmacy—this will confirm the ingredients in the medication. This is not the time to transfer your medication to a different pill container. 
  • No matter how little the medication may be, it must be declared to the Australian Border Force on arrival. 
  • Be prepared to provide your doctor’s contact details in the event of any conditions or treatments needing to be confirmed. 
  • Personal use usually only allows for 30-day use, so arriving with a 90-day supply may raise some questions. If your doctor provides you with medications for a prolonged period, be sure to get written confirmation for this.

It’s worth noting that Australia has an extensive healthcare system, and you will easily be able to purchase basic medications such as headache tablets and antacids. There’s no need to pack an entire suitcase of your own medications for eventualities you think you need to prepare for!

  1. Plants, Flowers and Seeds

Many of the bio-diversity regulations are centred around protecting our agricultural diversity. For this reason, live plants are not permitted. If you’re relocating, Australia has a wonderful range of plants that you can use to create your new garden. You don’t have to take your roses with you! 

Any plants, seeds and living animal matter need to be declared on your Passenger Card. 

Furthermore, if you need to bring in any specialised seeds or plants as part of registered research, this needs to be done via a valid import permit obtained, in advance, from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. If you’re immigrating, you should arrange this when you’re planning the side loader services that will assist with your container. 

Final Thought

First-time travellers to the country should keep in mind that Australia takes its biodiversity very seriously. Carrying a prohibited item will result in severe penalties. If you have unintentionally packed a food item that is on the prohibited list, be sure to voluntarily dispose of it in special bins located in the terminal. Familiarising yourself with the right procedures will ensure that there are no delays and expensive fines to be paid!