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When you’re preparing to travel to Australia for studies, you need to be aware of Australia’s quarantine laws.

What you should NOT pack

Some things can’t be brought into Australia. Items of quarantine concern include food, plant material and animal products, such as:

  • seeds, feathers and wooden items
  • toys containing cotton waste, sand, straw or water
  • sporting equipment that could spread weed seeds, insect pests — even foot and mouth disease

If you’re going to send items to Australia by air or sea freight, you must give AQIS — the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service — details about all the items in your consignment. You must also avoid using packing materials such as fruit boxes or used egg cartons: these are prohibited. AQIS may inspect your goods. AQIS will treat items that could contain pests or diseases, or seize and destroy prohibited items, at your expense.

What family and friends should NOT post to you

Before you receive mail from family and friends back home, it is important to know that there are some things — including food items — that should not be mailed to Australia. Traditional treats and gifts may remind you of home, but these items could carry pests and disease that pose a quarantine risk to Australia. To make sure your parcels arrive safely, tell your family and friends about Australia’s quarantine laws.

AQIS X-rays, inspects or checks ALL overseas mail. AQIS will find prohibited items and remove them from the parcel before it is sent on to you.

If you are sending packages to Australia, remember that you MUST declare the exact contents of every mail parcel on the declaration label. Breaking Australia’s quarantine laws can lead to fines or a criminal record.

The good news for international students is that a lot of the food you enjoy at home — everything from spices, noodles and duck eggs to mooncakes or packaged meat — is readily available in Australia. There are many specialty grocery stores so it’s easy to get your favourite foods and a taste of home right here.


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