Declaring goods/food as international cruise passengers on arriving in Oz

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#1
Warwickshire UK
2,635 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Hi, we are sailing on the Aria from Singapore to Brisbane next summer that goes through Indonesia.

It is highly likely I will be getting off the ship with some food items I have bought in my travels that will all be factory packaged and sealed (Ramen packets that may contain dried fish powder,snacks, nut based products,chocolate,bottles of sauce,savory snacks etc). I do like food items to take home when I travel.

I have heard that food products must be declared when at airports through a form which I am guessing will also happen at port. My question is how likely are they to be taken off me? Or is it a inspect and off you go type thing?

I will certainly be declaring all items just in case.

Thanks
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#2
Cincinnati
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I’ve traveled through many countries with packaged food items like the ones you are describing (including Australia). The only packaged item I had a problem with contained nuts. Everything else got through ok.


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#3
I come from a land down under
23,884 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
If it’s factory packaged and still sealed usually no worries.

It’s when it’s not packaged and not commercially produced you get problems.

BUT

ALWAYS

Declare it.
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#4
cootamundra nsw
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yes always declare and the worst thing that will happen they'll take them off you
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#5
Middle of the Sahara Desert
11,967 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
All countries require you to declare food and goods. In Canada they don't allow any raw meat and plant matter. Not all cooked and packaged products are allowed into Canada.
Those cute puppies have pretty sharp noses.
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#6
Wellington. New Zealand
2,889 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
Commercially prepared nuts are generally ok as well. I often bring roasted cashews to Australia and have never had a problem. Havent tried "raw" nuts, that maybe different. Aussie border protection have a policy of "If it goes in the mouth it is food". If it has medicinial properties however spurious it is a drug. Declare everything. If in doubt declare it. If you want to limit any hold up have all declarable items handy for inspection ie hand held luggage. If Border protection have to open your large bags and they find something you had forgotten be prepared to have everything opened and turned over. If this is the case you wont get any sympathy from any of us who live down under either side of the ditch
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#7
Queensland
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Returning from a trip to Europe I had a lot of food products (for various reasons). We also had a bit more than our allowance of alcohol. I prepared a list with each item shown, the size of it and (importantly) where I got it. I had everything in my hand luggage to show if required. The quarantine officer simply read down the list and OK'd everything. Another time I had chocolate covered macadamia nuts - no problem whatsoever. The products that would probably be refused entry would be any meat products (such as salami) and possibly honey.

With Australian customs/quarantine officers, if you do not declare the items and they are found, you are will either be fined or at least threatened with a fine.
#8
Cincinnati
3,127 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
My ‘nut’ issue didn’t actually occur at customs. We got a bag of some type of nut; cashews maybe, on the plane. And the flight crew repeated several times not to take them off the plane if you saved them because they wouldn’t be allowed through customs. This was landing in Melbourne, Australia.


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#9
Queensland
6,954 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Many times I have been told that wooden products cannot be taken into Australia. That is totally incorrect. Wooden items have to be declared. They will be checked over (a couple of minutes) and if no borer holes are found, they are OK. If borers are found to be in the wood you can pay to have the item fumigated or choose to have to destroyed.
#10
ExPerth, Now Melb Aus
658 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
It really isn't complex. Follow the clear instructions on the Border Govt website.
https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/...-bring-it-back

And basically - declare - full stop. Failing to declare will result in a fine or warning depending on the circumstances. That is seperate to whether the product itself will be permitted in or not.
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#11
Canberra Australia
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Joined Apr 2012
It would really depend on the actual food items and whether they represent a bio-risk to Australia's agriculture, etc.

Declare them but don't be disappointed if some items are taken.
#12
Perth Western Australia
71 Posts
Joined May 2015
Perfectly Perth has nailed it.

Just read the clear and easily understood guidelines on the website and comply with them and all will be well.

This country has very strict quarantine laws for very good reasons and you don't want to get on the wrong side of the people who are responsible for enforcing those laws.
#13
Sydney, Australia
5,245 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Always declare it - let them decide
Being commercially produced and sealed in packaging is no guarantee
The one that surprised us once was commercial dry dog food which we declared was seized as it banned as an import
Mind you one only has to watch the Border Security TV programme to see what some expect to bring in (usually without declaring it) - and in some cases actually get away with it
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#14
Canberra Australia
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Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by Bodogbodog
Always declare it - let them decide
Being commercially produced and sealed in packaging is no guarantee
The one that surprised us once was commercial dry dog food which we declared was seized as it banned as an import
Mind you one only has to watch the Border Security TV programme to see what some expect to bring in (usually without declaring it) - and in some cases actually get away with it
Some of the people on those shows just amaze me.
#15
Warwickshire UK
2,635 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
To the people that suggest reading the website. I have done that which is why I posted.I will be declaring for sure.

I was simply asking how likely it was to be taken off me as I don't want to risk wasting too much money.
Although I am now wondering if a port is stricter than an airport...who knows?

Oddly I was watching some Aussie and Canadian customs programs the other day. There was a lady who had bought bags/boxes of homemade meat curries from Asia into Sydney I think it was. I think she got some hefty fines as you can imagine!

Here in the EU declaring food items isn't super common actually...its only if they are on the obvious products list.
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#16
Canberra Australia
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My wife had been given a bag (factory sealed) of rice and some jams as gifts from the US when she travelled with work. She had declared these and they took the rice but not the jams, she was surprised thinking it may have been the other way around. They have their lists but there is also an interpretation of the rules to take into an account.
#17
Middle of the Sahara Desert
11,967 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by MicCanberra
My wife had been given a bag (factory sealed) of rice and some jams as gifts from the US when she travelled with work. She had declared these and they took the rice but not the jams, she was surprised thinking it may have been the other way around. They have their lists but there is also an interpretation of the rules to take into an account.


Rice isn’t considered a processed food. Also Oz produces rice. Jam is processed food.


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#18
Wellington. New Zealand
2,889 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
Originally posted by Kamloops50
Rice isn’t considered a processed food. Also Oz produces rice. Jam is processed food.


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My initial thoughts exactly. Jam is not a threat but raw rice is . Aussie is particularly sensitive to its protection of its primary produce. Importation of apples and bananas come to mind. During the wipeout of the Australian banana crop a few years back the authorities still refused to import bananas and the public just had to lump it or pay the huge prices for the limited local stock that was available. Its not that long ago that there were restrictions about what produce could even be taken across state lines.
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#19
Blue Mountains
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Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by Beanb41
Its not that long ago that there were restrictions about what produce could even be taken across state lines.

It’s still the case. You can’t take fruit from the mainland into Tasmania



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