What you can/can’t bring to Australia…

20 Feb

Australia is very protective and proud of their environment. Australia’s environment is famous of free from many pests and diseases found in other parts of the world. Therefore Australia has its own reliable and powerful quarantine department called Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service or AQIS (

Their job is to prevent/protect Australia soil from any attack from pests and diseases. Before your departure, you need to check the things you’ll bring to Australia beforehand. If you unsure, you can check their website to see the list of items you can/can’t bring to Australia prior to departure.

There also a form you need to fill up which usually the airlines provided to you before the arrival which called Incoming Passenger Card as shown on below.

Australia Incoming Passenger Card

Australia Incoming Passenger Card

The best and safe way is to declare the food you brought with you to avoid on-the-spot fine up to $AUD220, or persecution and face a fine up to $AUD66,000 or 10 years imprisonment which may result in a criminal record.

The Quarantine team will do whatever they can to make sure that Australia soil is protected. On arrival your baggage may be X-Rayed, inspected or even checked by a detector dog team.

You will not be penalised if you declared your items beforehand.

The items you declared will be returned to you after inspection; however anything that presents a disease risk  or contain insects or larvae will be withheld.

So it’s important that you read this section before your departure to Australia.

Here are the useful links you might consider to have a look before:

  • What can’t I take into Australia
  • What can’t be mailed to Australia

Here is the general list of prohibited goods to bring to Australia:

  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • live plants and bulbs
  • prohibited and restricted seeds
  • unidentified seeds, which can include some foods, including spices
  • live animals (including pets) that require an import permit
  • biological products including some plant based, herbal medications
  • unprocessed goods of plant or animal origin
  • soiled items, or items containing organic residues
  • items knowingly infested with pests or a disease.

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    08/11/2010 at 11:26 AM

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    27/11/2010 at 7:07 AM

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  4. Jason

    12/03/2011 at 8:45 PM

    Hi great site, question for you have you come across any samples of the passanger card in other languages ?? I am trying to locate a Thai language copy, dont know why Immi or Customs does not have them on their website

  5. Cosy Quarters

    16/03/2011 at 1:30 PM

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks. I don’t have samples of the passenger card in other languages. Although IMMI has mentioned that they do have the passenger card available in different languages (refer to the URL below), Thai is one of them. I think they should put it on their website, I’m totally agreed with you.



  6. thejumpingkoala

    26/10/2011 at 5:51 PM

    Great site! I’ve written a similar article about what you can and cannot bring into Australia:

    There’s also articles about essential migration tips and must-do’s for all new Australian permanent residents & prospective migrants. Do have a read when you have the time. Cheers!

    @Jason: I managed to find the incoming passenger card samples in different languages on the DIAC website (Thai included), here is the link:
    It was one of those tiny links that you probably missed or wasn’t up yet. Hope that helps 🙂

  7. Paula de Wijn

    21/07/2013 at 9:47 PM

    I want to find out if I can bring fabric paint and brushes to Australia

  8. Cosy Quarters

    24/08/2013 at 10:12 PM

    Hi Paula, I know there is a restriction to bring brushes to Australia, especially with the Australia custom. Please refer to this URL for further information and hope it helps. Cheers.