To help protect Australia's agricultural industries, unique environment, and human health status, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) officers screen incoming air and sea passengers, baggage, mail and cargo using x-ray machines, detector dogs, physical inspection, questioning and profiling.
The airline or cruise line will provide you with an Incoming Passenger Card and you must complete this truthfully – it is a legal document. Penalties apply for providing false information to departmental officers.
Incoming Passenger Card
You must declare certain food, plant material (including wooden articles) and animal products on your Incoming Passenger Card.
Items declared on your Incoming Passenger Card will be inspected to ensure they are not carrying any pests or diseases. If biosecurity concerns or pest and diseases are found, products require treatment (at your cost) such as fumigation or gamma irradiation. Items that cannot be treated will be seized and destroyed.
If you have items you don't wish to declare, you can dispose of them in bins in the terminal.
If you fail to declare or dispose of any biosecurity risk items, or make a false declaration:
- you could be fined $360 on-the-spot, or
- you could be prosecuted and fined more than $66,000 and risk 10 years jail.
You will not be penalised if all items are declared, even if they are not allowed into Australia. If you are not sure, ask a departmental officer.