This information is also available in the following format:
- Christmas - Important biosecurity information
PDF [189.5 KB]
Important biosecurity information
Food, plant material and animal products from overseas could introduce some of the world’s most serious pests and diseases into Australia, devastating our valuable agriculture and tourism industries and unique environment. Biosecurity protects our human, animal and plant health by reducing the risk of unwanted pests and diseases arriving in the country. Everyone benefits from a strong biosecurity system so everyone has a role to play.
If you are bringing, sending or receiving Christmas gifts it is important to ensure that you and/or your family overseas are aware of Australia’s strict biosecurity laws.
How do we stop biosecurity risk items from entering Australia?
Biosecurity risk items are assessed by DAFF biosecurity officers using x–rays, detector dogs and manual inspection. Any packages containing biosecurity risk items will be opened and inspected by DAFF’s biosecurity officers.
What are some Christmas gifts that can present a biosecurity risk?
- toys containing seeds, sand
- pot pourri
- pine cones
- fresh mistletoe and conifer
- fresh fruit and vegetables
- raw nuts
- salami and other meats
- goods made from or containing bark or straw
What can I do to ensure my Christmas gift arrives on time?
Gifts and online shopping purchases from overseas that arrive through the post are also subject to biosecurity intervention. Make sure your family correctly lists the contents of all mail articles and fill out any postal declaration labels or forms. Declaring items does not automatically mean they will be confiscated – most are returned or sent on after inspection.
If your item requires treatment, you will be given the option to pay for the treatment and it may take several weeks for the item to be sent to you. Where treatment is not an option, the item will not be permitted into Australia and you will be notified.
If you are travelling to Australia you will be given an Incoming Passenger Card before you land in Australia. This is a legal document. You must tick “Yes” on your card if you are carrying food, plant material or animal products. You can take these declared items with you to the clearance point where they will be assessed by a DAFF biosecurity officer. If you have items you do not wish to declare, you can dispose of them in the biosecurity bins in the airport terminal.
What Christmas gifts can I bring or send?
Help us protect Australia from pests and diseases by sending alternative gifts that do not pose a biosecurity risk.
You can check the import conditions of many gifts on the biosecurity imports condition database ICON.
Call DAFF on 1800 020 504 (free call in Australia, in English).
Pictured above are some examples of items that are commonly sent or brought into Australia over Christmas and are considered a threat to Australia’s biosecurity. These photos are suitable for use by media outlets but must be credited to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
19 Nov 2012