Australia's customs

@maximax8 (27334)
United Kingdom
December 7, 2011 6:55am CST
I have watched a program called "Nothing to Declare" and it is about Australian Customs. They have very strict rules. They ask every traveler to fill out a two sided passenger information form. It is for immigration and customs to see. One question asks if the traveler is bringing any medicines or dangerous things that of course wouldn't be allowed. If I went back there I would have to say yes. My disabled son has catheters and sometimes medicines. All would have to have a letter from the GP. One question that many say no to asks if they have food. Then the persons luggage gets searched and they have a fine of $220 if they do actually have any food. The first time I went to Australia they didn't allow any food. Now they allow limited types of foods. Australia don't allow a person that says they haven't got a criminal record. They know if they have and then they send them back to their home country. Another thing is they don't like people to work illegally. One lady had educational certificates in her luggage. She wanted to apply to study at an Australian university. They imagined she was going to work illegally. Sometimes they nearly send someone home but change their mind due to special circumstances. One man wanted to reunite with his mum and that had been found with the help of New Zealand television. Amazingly they let him in and I am pleased they did. Do you ever take food in your luggage? Have customs ever searched your baggage? How have you found security and immigration?
2 people like this
8 responses
@bhanusb (5709)
• India
7 Dec 11
Hi maxi, I have some close relatives in Australia. Some of them invited me to visit them. Some day I may go there. I have to take medicine for high blood pressure. Should I carry prescription of my doctor with the medicine. We are fond of eating dry fish. If I go there I may carry dry fish for my relatives. Will the Australian customs allow me to carry dry fishes?
@guybrush (4661)
• Australia
7 Dec 11
Hello, bhanusb. Unfortunately, your dried fish will not be allowed. Your prescriptions will be fine - but it helps if you have a note from your doctor, just in case! x
• United States
7 Dec 11
Although I think they may be a little too strict with their rules for travelers I also think that the United States could learn a thing or two from them. Perhaps if we had more strict rules here regarding immigration then September 11th wouldn't have happened. As for having my luggage searched, yes. Last year my husband & I went on a cruise & they search our bag. I had no problem with this since their doing so made me feel more safe knowing that they did this with everyone.
@maximax8 (27334)
• United Kingdom
7 Dec 11
I am glad to hear that you and your husband went on a cruise last year. It was superb the baggage search made you feel safe. Yes, the United States should have learned from Australia. Since September 11 in 2001 things have changed. I went to the USA two months after that on my way to New Zealand. Thanks for your super response.
@Kalyni2011 (3503)
• India
19 May 12
Dear max My nephew Rakesh was there for 2 years in Sydney, he used to tell Australia has so many customs, similar to ours Best of luck. Happy posting, cheers. Kalyani
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
17 Dec 11
Australia has some of the most strict customs and quarantine rules in he world. We regularly deal with them in regards to the food that we import and are always frustrated at how often they seem to change their minds. They will let something in for a period of time and then all of a sudden, they will not allow it. This particularly happens when there is a change in government and they all of a sudden tighten their regime. Whenever I fly, I declare every little thing. From my experience in recent times, they allow dried and processed foods in packaging, but nothing that is fresh which is understandable.
10 Dec 11
I like watching this programme and working in the travel industry I am quite sensible and try to make sure I read all rules and keep up tp date with restrictions etc but, I am always shocked by people who try fool the immigration and customs - why would you even bther - is it really worth being put in prison potentially for life and especially in a foreign land?!
@aprilsong (1886)
• China
8 Dec 11
Hi,i don't know this things before, glad to hear it from you.
@veganbliss (3903)
• Adelaide, Australia
8 Dec 11
These programs are good to watch. It is good & necessary that we have such rules here now. I've filled out those forms before & they are very easy to do. My wife & I don't take medicines or supplements, so this makes it easier. Those who have nothing to hide & have done nothing wrong have nothing to fear. The whole search process through customs I've found to be done in a very friendly & good - natured way here... New Zealand is much the same, though they are very strict about different things like mud on one's boots, etc. The food restrictions are there to protect our local industries from foreign pests & diseases. Illegal workers destroy our economy. We always take food (meals) in our carry-on luggage domestically because we just can't be too sure when or where we're going to get our next meal. They're very lenient with that, so long as you declare it or make it obvious you have it. In addition to scanners & random searches, they still use dogs at the airports to hunt down any illegal consumables, food stuffs, etc. Those dogs are lovely & everyone seems happy to be sniffed! It's easy to stay out of trouble if you research your destination's big local industries & avoid taking anything with you that's already there. If you're a guy taking flowers for your Western Australian girl, you might want to leave them at home & bring her some chocolates instead - or embarrassingly be detained at the airport! Similarly, bringing fruit, even dried fruit into South Australia is a big no-no. The fines are horrendous & you will get caught.
@guybrush (4661)
• Australia
7 Dec 11
Hello, Max! We moved from New South Wales (Australia) to Cairns in North Queensland last year. There were lots of last minute things stuffed in our luggage as the removalists had taken everything, and I was worried my suitcase would be over the 23kg limit. Before we had the cases weighed, I pulled out my laptop and an old paintbox handed down from my father, and put them in my hand luggage. Unfortunately, when we went through security, the xray showed my paintbox and I was pulled over. Apparently, you are not allowed to take paint through the barrier, even though the dried up watercolours in the paintbox hadn't been used for over 70 years! I was devastated to have the paintbox confiscated - and every time we go to the airport I'm ALWAYS chosen to have an explosives check! No idea why - my husband wanders through without any problem. Obviously I look like a terrorist! x