New rules about what you can and can’t bring into Australia


New rules about what you can and can’t bring into Australia

Visitors to Australia failing to declare prohibited items might have their visas shortened or canceled.

Australia’s strict bio-security laws prohibit certain foreign foods, plant materials, and animal products from entering the country, due to the threat of introducing serious pests and diseases into Australia, devastating our valuable agriculture and tourism industries, as well as our unique environment.

From April 17, 2019, new rules come into effect allowing airport authorities to shorten or cancel visitor visas if a visitor fails to declare prohibited items upon entry to the country.

So before you send across a list of goodies for your family and friends to bring to Australia, or travel back to Australia from your home country and on a temporary visa, take a look at what you can and cannot bring into Australia.



Food items brought into Australia must be declared on Incoming Passenger Cards when arriving by plane. Bio-security officers may need to inspect some of the food you’re bringing with you.

While you are allowed to bring coffee, biscuits, bread, cake, chocolate, maple syrup, and oil, one needs to declare if they have brought tea, spices, pickles, rice, nuts, dairy products with them.


Medicines for personal use are allowed. However, one must carry a letter or copy of the prescription (written in English) from the doctor to certify that the medicine has been prescribed to treat a medical condition and ensure the quantity of the medicine does not exceed three months supply.

“You should leave your medicine in its original packaging and declare it to the Australian Border Force when you arrive,” the Australian Border Force (ABF) advises.

Plants, flowers, and seeds

Live plants are not permitted.

“Most live plants must not be imported to Australia unless the importer has a valid import permit from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources,” the ABF advises.

Seasonal or festive items

Many migrants bring special items related to Indian festivals like Diwali, Rakhi and Lohri to Australia. The ABF strongly advises one “declare anything you are bringing or sending so that it can be inspected by our staff at the border.”

The ABF advises not to bring fresh fruits, flowers, dried fruit, nuts and Indian sweets like burfi, rasmalai, rasgulla and pedas.

Besides these specific categories, there are many more items on the list that are prohibited or must be declared when being brought to Australia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WhatsApp chat