Wondering about Australian Border Control?
If you’ve decided to travel to Australia you’re probably pretty excited, and for good reason! It’s an amazing country with a lot to see and do, however, something that may not have been on your radar from the time you booked your flight was what Australian border control is like.
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Australian border control is probably unlike any other border control you’ve experience.
Because they’re an island that’s mainly eradicated lots of diseases and animals, they take border control incredibly seriously to make sure they don’t have an outbreak of something they’ve successfully managed to get rid of.
So to help you navigate the process of Australian border control, here’s five things you should know so your trip doesn’t start on a bad note.
The most important thing to do when you’re coming into Australia is to just declare everything you have, no matter what. Even things that you are allowed to have, technically you’re still supposed to tell them you have it. Roasted nuts, for example, are permitted, but you have to inform them you have them, otherwise you could get stuck with a fine.
If you’re not sure about something—declare it. It just isn’t worth the headache that will ensue otherwise.
Usually tea is ok, but again you should always declare because you never know if you may have a particular kind of tea that isn’t permitted, however, no plants or organic material of any kind is allowed into Australia. Australian Border control will check for these things.
Usually wood falls under this category too, so if you have beaded necklaces made of wood or figurines you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle.
Again, declare it and let the customs officer decide whether you can keep it. Typically if you’re not allowed to have it because it may have things on it they don’t want in Australia, they’ll give you the option to have it sanitized and get it back later on.
Carrying Lots Of Money?
You got it, it’s got to be declared. You only need to declare over AU$10,000, but if you don’t then you face pretty hefty penalties and that just isn’t worth it.
Although, I’d hope you weren’t carrying that much cash with you into Australia, but hey, you never know.
Soils And Meats Are A No Go
A good rule of thumb is anything that’s not cooked is a big no no. No uncooked meats, no dairy, etc. Again, the smartest thing you can possibly do is just declare every single thing you’ve got that may or may not be a problem.
You May Be Able To Use The Smart Gates
If you’re entering into Australia as someone from a certain set of countries, you don’t even need to speak to a person at immigration. Simply scan your passport, let it take a photo of you and biometrically match it to your passport and head on through.
So the takeaway from this article is to declare it. Why is that? If you declare something and you’re not allowed to have it—no problem, they take it off you and you go on your merry way.
However, if you aren’t allowed to have something then you can get stuck with a pretty large fine and possibly face prosecution. That’s no way to begin a trip, is it? Australian border control is intimidating, but declare it and all will be well!
What are your stories with Australian Border Control? Have you been stopped or had an issue? Let me know in the comments below!