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Australia has specific customs and quarantine requirements that may be different to those in your own country. Prepare for your arrival into Australia by reading the Guide for Travellers – Know Before You Go brochure. Click the links below to download the guide in English, French or Spanish.

Know Before You Go - English   Know Before You Go - French   Know Before You Go - Spanish

Incoming Passenger Card

Your Incoming Passenger Card, which will be issued on the plane before landing in Australia, is a legal document. There are penalties for not completing it correctly and for making a false declaration. Everyone who arrives at an Australian airport must present their travel documents and Incoming Passenger Card to officers in immigration clearance and in customs clearance. An example of this card is available here.

Anyone who arrives without a valid travel document, visa or authority to enter Australia, may be refused entry to Australia or delayed until their identity and claims to enter Australia have been confirmed. If a person does not meet immigration clearance requirements, they may be refused entry to Australia.

Further information about Incoming Passenger Card is available here.

Customs/Quarantine clearance

After passing through immigration clearance you will need to collect your baggage and this may be checked by Customs and Border Protection or Quarantine officers. On the Incoming Passenger Cards passengers need to declare all food, plants, animals, biological goods and medicines. This includes some prescription medications, alternative, herbal and traditional medicines, vitamin and mineral preparation formulas.

Some products require a permit or quarantine clearance and/or a letter or prescription from your doctor describing your medication and medical condition. See the “Travelling with Medication” section for more detailed information.


Further information is in the attachments below.

Declare it - English   Declare it - French   Declare it - Spanish

Other languages are available here.

Goods that must be declared on arrival include (but are not limited to):

  • Medicinal products
  • Quarantine items
  • Steroids and performance enhancing drugs
  • Veterinary products
  • Firearms, weapons, ammunition and prohibited items
  • Currency, Australian or foreign, of $A10,000 or more in value
  • Protected wildlife and items produced from protected wildlife
  • Goods in excess of duty free concessions
  • Commercial goods
  • Gifts in excess of duty free concessions

Goods that must be declared on departure include (but are not limited to):

  • Defence and strategic goods
  • Currency, Australian or foreign, of AU$10,000 or more in value
  • Heritage items
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Protected wildlife and items produced from protected wildlife

Your baggage may be x-rayed or examined by Customs and Border Protection or Quarantine to detect prohibited, restricted or dutiable goods and you may be questioned by officers. In the passenger hall and quarantine area there are often dogs working to search for drugs and other prohibited or restricted goods as well as food, plant or animal material.

Travelling with Medication

Congress participants carrying medications such as aspirin, paracetamol or Australian over-the-counter medications do not need to declare these on arrival.

Personal prescription medications may also be brought in as long as the following conditions are met:

  • the medicine is carried in their accompanied baggage; and
  • the passenger carries a letter or prescription (written in English) from their medical practitioner to certify that the medicine has been prescribed to the passenger, or another passenger in their care, to treat a medical condition; and
  • the goods are in a quantity not exceeding three (3) months’ supply at the manufacturer’s recommended dose.

Congress participants should also be aware that some complementary medicines, including traditional and herbal remedies, dietary supplements or natural remedies, may require a permit or a prescription or letter from a medical practitioner before the goods will be allowed entry into Australia if they contain a controlled substance (for example, Yohimbe or DHEA).

Duty Free Concessions

Most personal items such as new clothing, footwear, and articles for personal hygiene and grooming (excluding fur and perfume concentrates) may be brought into Australia in your accompanied baggage, free from duty and tax. Personal goods are free from duty and tax if they are:

  • owned and used by you overseas for 12 months or more
  • imported temporarily (a security may be required by Customs and Border Protection)

For other goods, limits apply. These include goods that are purchased overseas and goods that are purchased in Australia duty or tax free (that have been previously exported), or from an inwards duty free shop on arrival into Australia. Duty-free concessions do not apply to commercial goods. There are no duty-free concessions on tobacco or alcohol for travellers aged under 18.

If you exceed Australia’s duty-free limits, duty and tax will apply on all items of that type (general goods, alcohol or tobacco), not just the goods over the limit. Failure to declare goods in excess of your concession could result in penalties.


If you are aged 18 years or over you can bring 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products duty-free into Australia with you. All tobacco products in accompanied baggage are included in this category, regardless of how or where they were purchased.

General goods

If you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring up to A$900 worth of general goods into Australia duty-free. If you are under 18 years of age there is a A$450 limit. General goods include gifts, souvenirs, cameras, electronic equipment, leather goods, perfume concentrates, jewellery, watches and sporting equipment.

Alcoholic beverages

If you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring 2.25 litres of alcoholic beverages duty-free into Australia with you. All alcoholic beverages in accompanied baggage are included in this category, regardless of where or how they were purchased.

Aviation security regulations may restrict the volume of liquids that you can bring into Australia as hand luggage.

Tourist Refund Scheme

If you return to Australia with goods for which you have claimed a GST refund under the TRS on departure, you must declare those goods at Question 3 on the Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) if their value exceeds the passenger concession of A$900.

GST refunds received on goods exceeding the passenger concession will have to be repaid if the items are brought into Australia.

See the Tourist Refund Scheme page for more detail about how it works.

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