arriving travellers

  1. Documents required for Customs clearance
  2. Sea travellers
  3. Items you must declare on arrival (including cash/currency)
  4. Did you know?

Documents required for Customs clearance

All arriving passengers must complete an Incoming Passenger Card.

If you hold an Australian or New Zealand ePassport and are aged 16 years or over, you are eligible to use SmartGate when arriving at Australian airports. SmartGate allows you to self-process through passport control using ePassport data and facial recognition technology.

All other travellers must present their passport and completed Incoming Passenger Card to a Customs and Border Protection officer on arrival before collecting their baggage.


Sea travellers

When you reach your port of arrival into Australia, you need to present your passport and completed Incoming Passenger Card to Customs and Border Protection. When permanently leaving the ship, at either the first or subsequent ports, you need to present your baggage and Incoming Passenger Card to Customs and Border Protection for clearance.

In some cases Customs and Border Protection officers may check your passport and Incoming Passenger Card on board the vessel before arrival in an Australian port.


Items you must declare on arrival (including cash/currency)

BE WARNED: DO NOT CARRY ILLICIT DRUGS

Penalties for drug offences in Australia are severe and could result in a jail term

Prohibited and restricted items

It is illegal to carry drugs including marijuana, cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamines in and out of Australia.

Other items may be restricted. You will need a permit to carry these items in and out of Australia.

See the following table for a summary on what you can and can't carry and what you need to declare on your Incoming and Outgoing Passenger Cards. There are penalties for not declaring illegal and restricted items and for making false declarations on your Incoming or Outgoing Passenger Card.

Contact Customs and Border Protection or the consulate or embassy of the countries you're visiting before you travel, for more advice about importing or exporting illegal and restricted items.

What do I have to declare?

Firearms, weapons and ammunition
You must declare all firearms, weapons and ammunition including real and replica firearms and Air soft pistols (BB guns) that discharge a pellet by means of compressed gas, commonly purchased as "toy" guns. Other weapons such as paintball markers, blowpipes, all knives, nunchukas, slingshots, crossbows, electric shock devices, laser pointers, body armour, batons, pepper sprays, knuckle dusters and parts and accessories for use with firearms and weapons must also be declared. Some of these items may require permission to be imported, and may be subject to other import requirements such as unique serial numbers and safety testing.

Performance and image enhancing drugs
All performance and image enhancing drugs must be declared on arrival. These include human growth hormone, DHEA and all anabolic and androgenic steroids. These items cannot be imported into Australia without a permit.

Illegal pornography
Highly offensive pornography is controlled on import and export. This includes publications and any media which depicts child pornography, bestiality, and explicit sexual violence.

Currency
There is no limit to the amount of currency you can bring in or out of Australia. However, you must declare amounts of A$10,000 or more in Australian currency or foreign equivalent. You must disclose any promissory notes, travellers’ cheques, personal cheques, money orders, postal orders or other bearer negotiable instruments, regardless of value, if requested by a Customs and Border Protection officer or police officer.

Medicines
You need to declare medicines and substances which may be subject to misuse, abuse or dependence, for example, steroids, opioid analgesics, cannabis or narcotic based medications. These products may be restricted or require a permit in order to be imported. Some traditional medicines may contain endangered plant or animal products and these should be declared to Customs and Border Protection.

If you are carrying prescription medication you do not need to declare these provided you import no more than three months supply. It is advisable that you carry a letter of prescription from your doctor in the English language describing your medical condition.

No Need to Declare
If you are carrying medications such as aspirin, paracetamol or Australian over the counter medications you do not need to declare these items to Customs and
Border Protection when you arrive in Australia. If you are carrying prescription medication you do not need to declare these provided you carry a letter or prescription from your Doctor in the English language describing your medication and medical condition and you import no more than three months supply.

 

Important note: If you are residing or visiting Australia for 3 months or longer and require ongoing medications, it is advisable that you visit an Australian medical practitioner to obtain your prescriptions. If you are intending to have your medications sent through the mail or via courier, import permits will be required prior to importing the medications. It is recommended that you enquire about the import procedures before you arrive in Australia.


Food, plants, animals and biological goods
You must declare certain food items, plant material, animal items, equipment used with animals, biological materials, soils and sand to Department of Agriculture officers on arrival. If you don't, you could be given an on-the-spot fine or face prosecution. Food, plant material and animal items from overseas could introduce serious pests and diseases into Australia, devastating our valuable agriculture and tourism industries and unique environment. Biosecurity protects our human, animal and plant health by reducing the risk of unwanted pests and diseases arriving in the country.

Protected wildlife
Australia's strict laws control the import and export of protected wildlife and associated products. This includes traditional medicinal products and regulated products such as coral, orchids, caviar, ivory products and many hunting trophies.

Heritage-listed goods
You need to apply for a permit to import or export heritage-listed goods including works of art, stamps, coins, archaeological objects, minerals and specimens.

Veterinary products
Declare all veterinary drugs and medicines. This includes products that contain substances prohibited without a permit.

Defence and strategic goods
Permits are required to import or export defence and strategic goods. For more information on which goods fit into this category, refer to Customs Export controls for defence and strategic goods factsheet.

Declaring restricted items

 

Item

Declare on Arrival

Declare on Departure

For more details, contact

Firearms, weapons and ammunition

Yes

Yes

Customs and Border Protection
1300 363 263
http://www.customs.gov.au/

Illegal pornography Yes Yes Customs and Border Protection
1300 363 263
http://www.customs.gov.au/

Performance and image enhancing drugs

Yes

Yes

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
1300 027 232
http://www.asada.gov.au/

Therapeutic Goods Administration
1800 020 653
http://www.tga.gov.au/

Currency A$10,000 or over

Yes

Yes

AUSTRAC
1800 021 037
http://www.austrac.gov.au/

Food, plants, animals and biological goods

Yes

No

Department of Agriculture
1800 020 504
http://www.daff.gov.au/

Medicines and substances which may be subject to misuse, abuse or dependence

Yes

Yes

Medicare Australia
1800 552 152
http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/

Therapeutic Goods Administration
1800 020 653
http://www.tga.gov.au/

Protected wildlife and wildlife products

Yes

Yes

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
+ 61 2 6274 1900
http://www.environment.gov.au/

Heritage-listed goods

Yes

Yes

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
+ 61 2 6274 1900
http://www.environment.gov.au/

Veterinary products

Yes

Yes

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
+ 61 2 6210 4701
http://www.apvma.gov.au/

Defence and strategic goods

Yes

Yes

Customs and Border Protection
1300 363 263
http://www.customs.gov.au/

 


Did you know?

Your baggage may be X-rayed when you arrive. This should not affect normal camera film.

Fireworks, flammable liquids, corrosives, gas cylinders are not permitted on aircraft or in your baggage.

Visitors including business people and students can bring such items as desktop or laptop computers and similar electronic equipment duty-free into Australia provided Customs and Border Protection is satisfied these items are intended to be taken with them on departure.

Yellow fever vaccination:Yellow fever is a quarantinable disease under the Quarantine Act 1908. Australia requires any person over one year of age to hold an individual international yellow fever vaccination certificate if they have, within six days prior to their arrival in Australia, stayed overnight or longer in a declared yellow fever infected country.

For further information regarding Australia’s yellow fever vaccination requirements refer to the Australian Department of Health and Ageing yellow fever fact sheet at the following link:
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-communic-factsheets-yellow.htm

If you are importing a motor vehicle, caravan or trailer, yacht or other craft, copies of brochures on requirements are available from Customs and Border Protection offices or Australian missions overseas.

Copyright piracy and trade mark counterfeiting are illegal. Buying counterfeit or pirated items supports an illegal trade that could involve serious criminal activity. Items may be seized by Customs and Border Protection and you may be subject to civil litigation or criminal prosecution.

A word of advice

As a routine part of their work, Customs and Border Protection officers may question travellers at any time. Trained dogs may also be used to detect illegal drugs or prohibited imports. If you are in doubt, declare your goods or ask a Customs and Border Protection officer for advice.

Declaring goods does not necessarily mean your baggage will be examined.

There are severe penalties for not declaring prohibited or restricted items and goods on which you must pay duty/tax. Presenting false receipts also carries heavy penalties.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of your dealings with Customs and Border Protection, please ask to speak to a senior officer.

Customs and Border Protection National Information Line
Phone: 1300 363 263
http://www.customs.gov.au/
email: information@customs.gov.au

http://customs.gov.au/site/page4351.asp modified: 10 February, 2014 2:30 PM