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Nature made Australia unique – Quarantine keeps it that way
Australia’s remoteness created an environment unlike any other on Earth. Australia’s quarantine laws help to protect it. Food, plant material and animal products from overseas, including many common souvenirs, could introduce some of the world’s most serious pests and diseases into Australia, devastating Australia’s valuable agriculture and tourism industry and its unique flora and fauna.
The Australian Government therefore has very strict quarantine laws and 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, other items prohibited due to pest and disease risks will be seized and destroyed by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). You can dispose the prohibited items in quarantine bins in the airport terminal. If you are not sure, you should ask a quarantine officer.
If you are carrying any plant material, animal products or sporting goods, you must declare them and allow them for inspection for signs of insects or disease. Goods such as dairy and egg products, uncanned meat products, live animals, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, and live plants are prohibited and will be seized and destroyed by AQIS or you can drop them in the quarantine bins at the airport.
Before landing in Australia passengers are given an Incoming Passenger Card to fill in. This is a legal document. You must tick YES to declare if you are carrying any food, plant material or animal products. If you have items you don’t wish to declare, you can dispose them in quarantine bins in the airport terminal. Every piece of luggage is now x-rayed or screened on its arrival into Australia. There are strict penalties if you fail to declare or dispose of any quarantine items, or make a false declaration.
You may also see a quarantine detector dog at the baggage carousel. They’re screening luggage for food, plant material or animal products of quarantine concern. If you see a detector dog working close to you, please place your bags on the floor for inspection. A quarantine officer may ask about the contents of your bag and check you are not carrying items that present a quarantine risk to Australia.
You can obtain more detailed information from http://www.aqis.gov.au. For information about Australia’s duty free allowance and other restricted imports, visit www.customs.gov.au.