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Customs in Australia

Clearing Customs

On the airplane to Australia, you will be given an Incoming Passenger Card by the Flight Attendants.

The Passenger Card is a declaration that explains what you are bringing into Australia.

Answer all the questions truthfully. The penalties for false declarations are very heavy and the goods may be confiscated as well.

Why you need to declare what you bring

Being an island, Australia is protected from many of the pest, plant and animal diseases found in other parts of the world. Food, plant material and animal products from overseas could introduce some of the world's most serious pests and diseases into Australia, devastating our valuable agriculture and tourism industries and unique environment.

You must declare for inspection all food, plant material and animal products on arrival in Australia to ensure they are free of pests and diseases.

Some products may require treatment to make them safe.

You can dispose of high-risk items in quarantine bins in the airport terminal.

If you're not sure, ask a Quarantine officer.


Australian Customs are very strict about food of any description being brought into Australia. All food must be declared to Customs on arrival in Australia or dumped in the rubbish bins in the Arrival Hall.

For a list of what you are not allowed to bring into Australia, visit the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service website.

Australia has a large multicultural population, including a thriving Chinatown in most big cities. Most foodstuffs which you can buy in your home country can be purchased in Australia from specialist international food stores.


These links will take you to external sites. Sites will open in a separate window, and are in English unless otherwise indicated.

  • Tips for Travelers
    Australian Customs Service
    A checklist of things you need to do before traveling to Australia
  • What can’t I take into Australia?
    Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS)
    A comprehensive list of what you can and cannot bring into Australia. Also explains the Passenger Card and how to fill it in.

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