The biosecurity laws of Australia prohibit certain plant materials, animal products and foreign food materials from entering the country. his is due to the risk of introducing diseases and Tpests in Australia. Such pests and diseases can be devastating to the tourism and agricultural industry of Australia.
From 17th April 2019, people who do not declare prohibited items may have their visas cancelled or shortened.
Here’s what you can and cannot bring to Australia:
You need to declare food items on an Incoming Passenger Card when you come to Australia by plane. Your food may be inspected by bio-security officers on your arrival.
You are allowed to bring oil, maple syrup, cakes, chocolates, coffee, biscuits and bread. However, you need to declare spices, pickles, tea, nuts, rice and dairy products.
You can bring in medicines which are meant for your personal use. However, it is mandatory to carry your prescription written in English. The prescription should be from a doctor to certify that the medicines are meant to treat a medical condition. Also, you can only carry medicines for up to 3 months. Also, the medicines have to be in their original cover. You must also declare them to the Australian Border Force on your arrival.
- Plants, flowers and seeds
You are not allowed to bring in live plants. You must declare seeds if you are carrying them to Australia.
- Festive or Seasonal items
Migrants tend to bring in special items for festivals Diwali and Rakhi, as quoted by SBS News. You must declare these items while bringing or sending them to Australia. These items may be inspected by ABF staff at the Australian border.
The ABF forbids you from bringing in items like fresh flowers, fruits, nuts, dry fruits and Indian sweets.
What can you do if you are carrying a prohibited item?
The crew of your aircraft or cruise vessel will provide you with an Incoming Passenger Card. The Incoming Passenger Card is a legal document.
You have to mark “Yes” if you are carrying any plant, animal or food items. You can either dispose of these items yourself in bins available at the terminals. Or you can have these items assessed by the Dept. of Agriculture and Water Resources biosecurity officer.
What happens if you do not declare a prohibited item?
Your luggage may be inspected by a biosecurity officer irrespective of whether you declare any items or not. It is mandatory to declare any item that may pose a biosecurity risk, as per SBS News.
However, if you make a false declaration on an Incoming Passenger Card, you may:
- Be Caught
- Be subject to civil penalties
- Be prosecuted or fined for more than $420,000. You may also be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
However, if you truthfully declare all prohibited items, you will not be penalized under the BioSecurity Act of 2015.
The ABF says that people caught bringing in prohibited items may be banned from entering Australia for 3 years.
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