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| Updated on Sep 4, 2015

Clearing Customs when Arriving in Australia

Australian Customs

Getting there is half the fun and then you have inspection.

An Australia Visa may get you on the plane and on your way to the country but there is not getting away from quarantine. Don’t let the word scare you.

This isn’t a zombie apocalypse where you may be rushed off to a confinement camp because you’re infected with a deadly virus. It’s more of a method to make sure certain items, like food and animals, don’t enter the country and spread diseases…. That could lead to zombies.

No, we are kidding. Before worrying about what you can and cannot bring into the country, let’s get you there first. When you have your vacation booked, wait until about two weeks before departure.

This way you maximize the 12 month validity of your Australia Visa. Once you are within that time frame, be sure to give us a click at and get the application going. Turnaround time is almost immediate to about 24 hours if there are no hiccups on your form.

online visa australia clearing customs.jpg

Now, down to the serious stuff or not so serious stuff if you obey rules. Entering Australia has its perks and quarantine regulations. Friendly custom officers are waiting to get you on your way but they have a job to do.

If you have food (not from the airplane), plants (or seeds) or animals (this includes meat), you need to declare it. Certain items, especially beef products, are known to carry diseases. Generally, those items will be confiscated and destroyed. This is probably the most obvious part of arriving to a new country, however, there are other items needing to be declared and inspected before your vacation can begin:

  • Complete the Incoming Passenger Card. Having this filled out before arrival makes going through customs quicker and easier.

  • Weapons. We are not just talking about guns, but anything deemed a weapon has to be declared. Penalties for NOT declaring these items could result in a fine or jail time. Weapons include: batons, ammunition, brass knuckles, BB guns, slingshots, crossbows, pepper spray, laser pointers and anything else even remotely close to a weapon. If you don’t know, just say something. Better to be safe than wind up paying a hefty fine.

  • Medicine. Most meds don’t need to be written down. Steroids, enhancing drugs or cannabis does. These cannot come into the country without a permit. If you don’t have one, they will be taken.

  • Protected wildlife. This is included due to the strict laws in Australia over certain wildlife. This could affect either your arrival or departure. Don’t bring in or take out coral, ivory, orchids or caviar.

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