There is a current outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia.
Increased biosecurity measures are in place in Australian airports to prevent the disease spreading across our borders.
For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
The Australian government controls the movement of people and goods across our border. This is to protect Australia's environment, economy, health and wellbeing, and security.
To avoid issues, penalties and fines, and to reduce the risk of experiencing delays when you return to Australia, consider:
- any COVID-19 requirements you may have to meet, including for transit destinations
- the documents you need to pass through Australian immigration
- any biosecurity restrictions and requirements
- any import requirements.
From 11 March 2023, you will no longer need to take a COVID-19 test to return to Australia from China, Hong Kong and Macau.
Destinations, transport providers and transit locations may have their own rules for testing (including pre-departure), masking and vaccination. Before arriving at check-in:
- check the local rules of each destination and transit location you're passing through
- confirm any requirements with your airline, cruise line or travel provider
- read our global health advisory and step-by-step guide to travel during COVID-19 for more information.
Documents, passport and SmartGate
All travellers returning to Australia must have a:
- valid passport
- completed Incoming Passenger Card (IPC).
You can use SmartGate when arriving at Australian international airports if you:
- hold an Australian or New Zealand ePassport
- are aged 16 or older.
All Australian passports are ePassports. An ePassport contains electronic information that helps to confirm your identity.
SmartGate uses ePassport data and facial recognition technology to let you go through passport control by yourself. It is quick and secure, meaning you may leave the airport faster.
Australia has strict biosecurity controls to help minimise the risk of pests and diseases entering the country. All travellers must meet the requirements before entering Australia.
You must declare certain food, plant material and animal products on your Incoming Passenger Card (IPC). An IPC is a document that identifies and records a person's entry into Australia. It's where you declare goods for custom and quarantine inspection.
If you declare goods on your IPC, go to an inspection point on arrival. A biosecurity officer will assess them.
If you don't want to declare goods, dispose of them in the bins at the terminal before the inspection points.
You could be fined or prosecuted for carrying undeclared controlled goods.
Officers screen your luggage using:
- detector dogs
- x-ray machines and/or
- baggage inspection.
In many cases, they'll return your declared goods to you after inspection. Some items may need treatment to make them safe. Some items are not allowed into Australia because of the risk of pests and disease. Officers may seize these for export or destruction.
Before travelling, check if you can bring your items back to Australia.
Check detailed import conditions on the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) website.
The Australian Border Force regulates which goods you can and can't bring in and whether you'll need a permit.
You must declare these restricted or prohibited items upon arriving in Australia:
- firearms, weapons and ammunition
- agricultural and veterinary chemical products
- pornography and objectionable material
- heritage-listed goods, such as works of art, stamps, coins, archaeological objects and specimens
- defence and strategic goods.
Medicines, drugs and herbal remedies
You need to declare all medicine, including:
- prescription medications
- alternative and herbal medicines
- vitamins and mineral preparation formulas
- performance- and image-enhancing drugs
- veterinary medicines.
If you’re carrying AUD10,000 or more (or foreign currency equivalent) worth of cash, cheque, traveller’s cheque or money order, you must declare it at the border. Fill out the form on AUSTRAC’s website and download a copy of the submission receipt to show if requested.
Wildlife, plants and animals
You must declare wildlife products on arrival in Australia. Some may also require a permit.
If you buy wildlife products overseas, find out if you need a permit before bringing them home with you. If you don't have the correct permit, authorities will seize your product. Penalties or fines may apply.
'Wildlife' includes any whole, part or derivative of a plant or animal, living or non-living. Examples include:
- protected wildlife, such as coral, orchids, caviar and hunting trophies
- wood and seeds
- ivory and products made from ivory
- leather or fur
- traditional medicines containing animal organs, teeth or body parts
- live plants
- fresh or dried flowers.
- the Department of Agriculture's advice on bringing items back to Australia
- the Department of Agriculture's alert regarding foot-and-mouth disease
- the Australian Border Force guidance on returning to Australia through quarantine
- the Department of the Environment and Energy's information for travellers returning to Australia
- the Therapeutic Goods Administration website for information about bringing medicines and medical products into Australia
- the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website for information on regulations of the veterinary pharmaceuticals you can and can't bring into Australia.