Returning to Australia

​​​​​Some goods you buy overseas can carry a host of exotic pests and diseases. These can harm our environment and industries.

Avoid buying gifts and souvenirs that pose a risk to Australia. Also, be aware that some items you brought with you on your trip can get contaminated.

Make sure it’s allowed before you bring it back.

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​​​When you travel

Be biosecurity aware.

Check the rules before buying food, animal products or plant material (including wooden articles) to avoid extra costs, loss of goods or delays on your return.

If you attend an overseas cultural or seasonal event there are some items you should avoid bringing back.

Read our current traveller alerts for information on health threats and pest and disease risks.

Prepare and declare your goods

Follow these tips to help keep Australia free of exotic pests and diseases.


Thoroughly clean and dry all hiking, fishing and camping equipment used overseas to remove soil, seeds or plant material. This includes footwear such as hiking boots and sporting gear like wetsuits or bikes. These items may require inspection on arrival.


Check your baggage, including shoes, for hitchhikers such as insects, lizards, frogs and toads when packing for Australia.

Don’t be sorry, just declare it!

You must declare risk goods, including certain food, animal products and plant material, for inspection on arrival.

Pests and diseases can also contaminate your goods while you’re overseas. Remember to declare goods, including animal and plant products that you take out of Australia and bring back in.

If you are unsure, declare it on your Incoming Passenger Card.

Declaring items does not automatically mean they will be confiscated. If you fail to declare risk goods, you could face a fine or possible prosecution.

Contact us

You can contact us for advice. Make sure the goods you want to bring back comply with Australian law.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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