Importing plants and plant products
Imports of plants and plant products from overseas can risk introducing weeds, pests and diseases into Australia, which pose a threat to Australia’s natural environment, our food security and economy. Plant products include any goods that contain ingredients or components of plant origin including wooden or bamboo articles, cut flowers and foliage, horticultural produce and other plant-derived food, pet food and stockfeed.
Australia has developed import conditions for plants and plant products, which effectively manage biosecurity risks that are associated with these goods. The conditions outline the commodities that can be imported to Australia and how they can be imported safely. Import conditions apply to both commercial consignments imported for sale or commercial use within Australia and personal consignments including items in baggage accompanying international passengers and mailed items.
Australia’s Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) outlines all import conditions for the importation of goods into Australia. If you are intending to import plants or plant products, you should search BICON for the goods you want and find out:
- whether the goods you wish to import are permitted
- the country or countries the goods are permitted to be imported from
- whether an import permit is required
- any documentation requirements
- any treatment requirements
- any inspection requirements
- any other import requirements for the goods.
As of 9 April 2018, the department will no longer facilitate the clearance of conditionally non-prohibited goods that arrive without the required import permit. Therefore goods that require an import permit, but arrive without one, including where an application is currently under consideration, will be directed for export from Australian territory or required to be destroyed in an approved manner.
As part of strengthening biosecurity surveillance and analysis under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper we are conducting an operational review of plant, animal and biological import conditions to protect Australia’s biosecurity status and to maintain our market access for agricultural products. Visit the import conditions review page for more information.
Notice to the plant importing industry
The Australian Government is strengthening the import requirements for a number of plant species to safeguard Australia against the bacterial plant pathogen Xylella (Xylella fastidiosa). More information about these changes to import requirements.
The following web pages contain importing information on:
- timber, wooden articles, bamboo and related products
- live plants
- fresh produce - commercial imports
- cut flowers and foliage
- plant produce and products for human consumption
- plant-based animal feed
- plant research material
- plant products that are applied to soils and plants (e.g. fertiliser)
- plant products for cultural and seasonal events
For products containing meat, dairy products or eggs (such as baby food, and frozen pizza) or any other animal derived product (e.g. animal skins), refer to BICON or the Biological Import Program web pages.
If you are bringing plant products into Australia as a passenger or sending it by mail the links below may assist you:
- Air and Sea Passengers - Arriving in Australia - Declare it!
- International Mail - What can’t be mailed to Australia?
If you require further information about importing plants or plant products please contact the Client Contact Group - Canberra on:
Phone (from within Australia): 1800 900 090
Phone (from outside Australia): + 61 3 8318 6700