Elsewhere on DAFF
Seized Items and Treatments
DAFF biosecurity officers work every day to minimise the risk of animal and plant disease entering Australia via international airports, seaports, mail exchanges, quarantine stations and container depots.
Items from overseas, such as food, seeds, nuts or anything made from wood, plant or animal material could introduce some of the world’s most serious pests and diseases into Australia. Anything exposed to foreign soil and vegetation – such as camping gear and hiking boots – also pose a threat.
Failing to declare quarantine items like these upon entry into Australia could devastate our unique environment and agriculture and tourism industries.
If you don’t declare:
- you will get caught
- you could be fined $340 on-the-spot
- you could be prosecuted and fine more than $66,000 and risk 10 years imprisonment.
Many items posted or brought into Australia can harbour pests and diseases, which could seriously threaten Australia’s agricultural and horticultural industries along with our unique flora and fauna.
- the introduction of Moko disease could devastate Australia’s Banana industry, worth approximately $300 million per annum
- during the 1990’s, eradication costs and production losses as a result of outbreaks of papaya fruit fly in north Queensland exceeded $100 million
- the United Kingdom Government estimates that the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease cost the UK’s agriculture and food industries £3.1 billion pounds, with the cost to the UK’s tourism industry estimated between £2.7 to £3.2 billion pounds
- the cost of a foot and mouth disease outbreak in Australia is estimated to be between $8 billion and $13 billion of the gross domestic product and its consequences could be felt for nearly 10 years after the event.
When items are withheld for quarantine reasons the person receiving the item will be notified and given a range of options depending on the object and the quarantine risk it poses:
- treating the item to make it safe
- exporting the item or returning it to the sender, or
- destroying the item (automatic if no contact is made with DAFF within 30 days).
These services, except for destroying the item, are subject to fees and charges, which are payable by the person receiving the package.
Examples of treatments include:
- Cleaning – to remove soil from shoes, machinery, etc.
- Fumigation – to kill insects
- Heat Treatment – to destroy disease pathogens
- Gamma-irradiation – to destroy all living pests and disease organisms that might be present.
20 Dec 2012