Quarantine Advice for entering Australia

Many countries in the world don’t have any restrictions on visitors taking food with them into their territories, but that is definitely not the case with Australia.

If you are planning to visit Australia you should know that there are many foods, wooden and animal products that you simply will not be allowed to take with you, and there is a chance that good you do declare may be confiscated at the airport.

Because Australia is an island nation it does not have many animal and plant diseases that are common in other parts of the world. To give an example, there is no foot and mouth disease in Australia, and many of the insects which feed on, and destroy, crops in most other parts of the world do not exist in Australia.

For that reason, Australians are very concerned with quarantining the country from such pests. Australia is a large exporter of food. Part of the reason why Australian food products are highly regarded overseas is because they are free from many diseases.

Quarantine starts at the airport and many goods such as food, wood and animal products are banned from entering Australian. Whilst on the plane to Australian you will need to fill out a quarantine form advising if you are carrying certain products. If you are carrying any food or any products that are named on the form then simply declare them. Australian quarantine authorities don’t expect you, the casual visitor, to know what you can and can’t bring into Australia. If you declare at item and it is found to be on the banned list that item will be confiscated, and eventually destroyed, but you won’t be penalised at all because you did the right thing by declaring it.

If you don’t declare items that are on the list, those items will not only be confiscated and destroyed but you will be charged a heavy fine, in cash, which you will need to pay at the airport. Your passport will also be stamped with the information that you tried to import banned goods, assuring you of a thorough search each time you try to enter Australia afterwards.

The message is: if in doubt then declare, that is by far your best option.

As well as having quite strong quarantine regulations to get into the country, many of the states also have their own, equally as tough, quarantine regulations.

The reason for that is simple. Australia is the only country to occupy a whole continent, and because we do occupy a whole continent there are many different climactic conditions throughout the country. Also, the vastness of Australia guarantees that there will be many regional differences.

If you are honest and declare any food, wood or animal products when you enter the country you will not be in any trouble, and your honesty may actually save you from getting a lot of grief from the quarantine officers.

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