Australian Border Protection
Arriving in Australia
If you are not an Australian citizen, you must hold a valid visa to enter Australia which must be presented at the Australian border along with a valid travel document. Your visa should be arranged before travelling to Australia. Special provisions apply to most New Zealand citizens, and to people eligilbe to transit Australia without a visa.
Our border control laws play an important role in protecting Australia's borders from the entry of illegal and harmful goods. Live animals and plants, plant material, animal products and some food from overseas could introduce pests and diseases into Australia, devasting our valuable agriculture and tourism industries and unique environment.
Some common items such as fresh or packaged food, fruit, eggs, meat, plants, seeds, skins and feathers are also prohibited.
At the border
When you arrive in Australia, you will go through the border, where your items will be checked. You will be given an incoming Passenger Card before you arrive. You must mark YES on your card if you are carrying goods that may pose a biosecurity risk. There is no limit on currentcy but you will need to declare amounts over $10,000. Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence and can result in fines. However, you will not be penalised under the Biosecurity Act 2015 if you declare all goods, even if they are not allowed into the country.
To avoid delays, fines or items being confiscated, it is advisable to check what you can and cannot bring into Australia before you depart, by going to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.
Bringing pets to Australia
To protect our unique environment, Australia has very strict rules on the importation of animals, controlling the types of animals that can come in and the countries they come from.
Cats and dogs may be brought in to Australia, but will spend time in quarantine depending on what country you are travelling from – usually between 30 or 60 days. Other household pets, such as hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets and caged birds are generally prohibited. However you can buy these animals from pet shops or breeders in Australia.
The cost of transporting your pet will depend on its size and the size of travel container required.
When your pet arrives in Australia it will be taken directly from the aircraft to a biosecurity station where it will remain for the quarantine period. You are allowed to visit your pet during this time.
The cost of food and boarding is included in the quarantine fees however if your pet needs the attention of a veterinarian this will need to be paid for by you.