Cultural and seasonal events

​​​​​Food, plant and animal products that you bring or send to Australia may introduce foreign pests and diseases that could devastate our valuable agriculture and tourism industries, and unique environment. Before these goods are allowed into the country, they are assessed by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources using X-ray, detector dogs and manual inspection.

If you are sending or bringing goods to Australia for a cultural or seasonal event, or returning from an event overseas with souvenirs, you will need to:

  • be aware of what goods pose a high risk to Australia and may require treatment or destruction
  • use our advice about safe alternative goods or souvenirs
  • declare anything you are bringing or sending, so that it can be inspected by our staff at the border.

This will help you to avoid delays, extra costs, or loss of goods that are considered high risk.

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Declare goods you are bringing or sending to Australia

You must declare any goods you are bringing or sending to Australia.

Mailed goods should include a complete list of the contents of the parcels and any postal declaration labels or forms required.

Travellers bringing goods into Australia must declare their goods on the Incoming Passenger Card given to you by the crew on your aircraft or cruise vessel. This is a legal document.

When arriving in Australia:

  • mark YES on your card if you are carrying certain food, plant material or animal products
  • you will have the opportunity to voluntarily dispose of any goods of concern in the bins at the terminal.

If you do not dispose of biosecurity risk items or declare them on your Incoming Passenger Card you could be fined and face possible criminal prosecution.

Sample Incoming Passenger Cards are available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Inspection and treatment of declared goods

Declaring items does not automatically mean they will be confiscated.

  • Goods that don’t pose a biosecurity risk will be sent on or returned after inspection.
  • If goods require treatment, you will be given the option to have them treated at your expense. It may take several weeks for the items to be treated and returned to you.
  • Where treatment is not an option, the goods will not be permitted into Australia and you will be notified.

Common gifts and souvenirs for cultural or seasonal events

Check what goods to avoid, what may require treatment, and what we suggest as a safe option for you to bring or send to Australia.

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ANZAC Day

Do not bring or send:

  • bullet shells
  • poppies
  • rosemary
  • soil
  • wattle sprigs.

Items that may require treatment at your expense:

  • sand contaminated with soil or driftwood.

Chinese New Year

Common Chinese New Year gifts pose a high risk of introducing pests and diseases. To avoid this, gifts should be purchased in Australia.

Do not bring or send:

  • chicken and preserved pork sausages
  • Chinese herbal medicines containing ganoderma fungus or cordyceps
  • citrus
  • dairy products, including milk and yoghurt
  • dried beef
  • fresh bamboo shoots
  • fruit (fresh and dried), including lychees and longans
  • persimmons
  • uncanned whole eggs, including duck eggs.

Chinese New Year fact sheet

For further information on Chinese New Year, download the following fact sheet.

Download

DocumentPagesFile typeFile size
English 2PDF 282 KB

Other languages

You can download this document in different languages.

Document PagesFile typeFile size
Chinese Traditional / 中文 2PDF316 KB
Chinese Simplified 2PDF316 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Christmas

Items that do not pose a biosecurity risk and are permitted:

  • cooked Christmas cakes and puddings
  • chocolates
  • confectionary
  • toys not containing animal or plant material.

Do not bring or send:

  • bark or straw based goods
  • fresh or dried conifer
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • fresh or dried holly
  • fresh or dried mistletoe
  • hampers (containing certain food, meat or plant material)
  • pine cones
  • potpourri
  • raw nuts
  • salami and other meats
  • toys containing seeds and sand
  • wreaths.

Diwali or Festival of lights

Items that do not pose a biosecurity risk and are permitted:

  • artificial flowers
  • fabric, gold or silver beads and coins
  • personalised photo items.

Do not bring or send:

  • dried fruit
  • flowers and other plant material
  • fresh fruit
  • herbs
  • products containing dairy
  • raw nuts
  • seeds
  • spices
  • sweets (mithai) such as burfi, ras malai, rasgulla and pedas
  • tea.

Diwali or Festival of lights fact sheet

For further information on Diwali, download the following fact sheet.

Download

DocumentPagesFile typeFile size
English2PDF 255 KB

Other languages

You can download this document in different languages.

DocumentPagesFile typeFile size
Hindi / हिन्दी2PDF

 400 KB

Punjabi2PDF

 360 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Easter

Items that do not pose a biosecurity risk and are permitted:

  • artificial flowers
  • chocolate
  • personalised photo items
  • cooked cakes
  • biscuits
  • buns.

Items that may require treatment at your expense:

  • blown or painted egg shells
  • dried plant material, such as grapevines or straw.

Do not bring or send:

  • fresh fruit or plant material
  • raw or cooked whole eggs
  • uncanned animal products, including cooked lamb and pork
  • used egg cartons.

Halloween or Thanksgiving

Items that do not pose a biosecurity risk and are permitted:

  • chocolate
  • confectionery.

Do not bring or send:

  • corn husk dolls
  • pumpkins.

Lohri Festival

Do not bring or send:

  • ground nuts
  • traditional Indian sweets (mithai) which contain milk, such as barfi, mysore pak, gulab jamun, rasgulla, pedas or soan-papdi
  • radish.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Items that do not pose a biosecurity risk and are permitted:

  • mooncakes, with no meat, commercially prepared and packaged
  • mooncakes with egg yolks and no meat, commercially prepared and packaged
  • chocolate mooncakes.

Do not bring or send:

  • fresh pomelo
  • mooncakes containing meat
  • star fruit
  • taro
  • any other fresh fruit or vegetables.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival fact sheet

For further information on the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, download the following fact sheet.

Download

DocumentPagesFile typeFile size
English2PDF 249 KB

Other languages

You can download this document in different languages.

DocumentPagesFile typeFile size
Chinese Simplified2PDF260 KB
Vietnamese / Tiếng Việt2PDF216 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.

New Year

Do not bring or send:

  • conifer sprigs
  • ornaments made with straw
  • seeds.

Rakhi (Raksha-Bandhan)

Items that do not pose a biosecurity risk and are permitted:

  • cotton Rakhi threads with plastic, fabric, gold or silver beads
  • gold or silver coins
  • personalised photo items
  • artificial flowers.

Do not bring or send:

  • dried fruits
  • grains
  • Rakhi threads made with seeds or flowers
  • traditional Indian sweets (mithai) which contain milk, such as barfi, mysore pak, gulab jamun, rasgulla, pedas or soan-papdi.

Rakhi (Raksha-Bandhan) fact sheet

For further information on Rakhi, download the following fact sheet.

Download

DocumentPagesFile typeFile size
English2PDF 278 KB

Other languages

You can download this document in different languages.

DocumentPagesFile typeFile size
Hindi / हिन्दी2PDF

 332 KB

Punjabi2PDF

 340 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Ramadan and Hajj Pilgrimage

Items that may require treatment at your expense:

  • dates
  • desserts
  • dried fruit
  • Holy water
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • spices
  • teas
  • wood products, such as religious articles and toys.

Do not bring or send:

  • fresh vegetables
  • meat and meat products
  • plants including raw tobacco, live cuttings, roots and bulbs.

St Patrick’s Day

Do not bring or send:

  • lucky plant kits
  • shamrocks
  • shillelaghs
  • straw crosses.

Items that do not pose a biosecurity risk and are permitted:

  • artificial flowers
  • dried shamrocks
  • fabric, gold or silver beads and coins
  • personalised photo items
  • shamrocks embedded in plastic.

Valentine’s Day

Do not bring or send:

  • dried flowers
  • fresh flowers.

Items that do not pose a biosecurity risk and are permitted:

  • chocolate
  • confectionary.

Yom Kippur and Sukkot Festival

Special import conditions apply for:

  • etrog
  • myrtle branches
  • palm branches
  • willow branches.

Please check the department’s Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) for details.

More information

If the goods you want to bring or send to Australia are not present in the advice above, you can check the department’s Passengers and Mail Inquiry form.

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