Australian Government - Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

To protect Australia's borders and foster lawful trade and travel.

Departing travellers

Documents required for Customs and Border Protection clearance

If you are departing, have the following ready for Customs and Border Protection clearance:


Items you must declare on departure

Prohibited and restricted items

It is illegal to carry drugs including marijuana, cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamines in and out of Australia.

Other items may be restricted. You will need a permit to carry these items in and out of Australia.

See the following table for a summary on what you can and can't carry and what you need to declare on your Incoming and Outgoing Passenger Cards. There are penalties for not declaring illegal and restricted items and for making false declarations on your Incoming or Outgoing Passenger Card.

Contact us or the consulate or embassy of the countries you're visiting before you travel for more advice about importing or exporting illegal and restricted items.

What do I have to declare?

Firearms, weapons and ammunition

You must declare all firearms, weapons and ammunition including real and replica firearms and Air soft pistols (BB guns) that discharge a pellet by means of compressed gas, commonly purchased as "toy" guns. Other weapons such as paintball markers, blowpipes, all knives, nunchukas, slingshots, crossbows, electric shock devices, laser pointers, body armour, batons, pepper sprays, knuckle dusters and parts and accessories for use with firearms and weapons must also be declared. Some of these items may require permission to be imported, and may be subject to other import requirements such as serial numbers, and safety testing.

Please note: Dangerous goods such as Air soft pistols (BB guns), laser pointers and electric shock devices imported without a permit may be confiscated and you could be fined or sent to jail.

Offensive pornography

Highly offensive pornography is controlled on import and export. This includes publications and any media which depicts child pornography, bestiality, and explicit sexual violence.

Performance and image enhancing drugs

All performance and image enhancing drugs must be declared on arrival. These include human growth hormone, DHEA and all anabolic and androgenic steroids. These items cannot be imported into Australia without a permit.

Currency

There is no limit to the amount of currency you can bring in or out of Australia. However, you must declare amounts of AUD10,000 or more in Australian currency or foreign equivalent. You must also disclose any promissory notes, traveller’s cheques, personal cheques, money orders, postal orders or other bearer negotiable instruments, regardless of value, if requested byone of our officers or a police officer.

Food, plants, animals and biological goods

Declare all food, plant and animal goods, equipment used with animals, biological materials, soils and sand to Quarantine on arrival. If you don't, you could be given an on-the-spot fine or face prosecution.

Medicines

You need to declare medicines and substances which may be subject to misuse, abuse or dependence, for example, steroids, opioid analgesics, cannabis or narcotic based medications. These products may be restricted or require a permit in order to be imported. Some traditional medicines may contain endangered plant or animal products and these should be declared.

No need to declare

If you are carrying medications such as aspirin, paracetamol or Australian over the counter medications you do not need to declare these items when you arrive in Australia.

If you are carrying prescription medication you do not need to declare these provided you carry a letter or prescription from your doctor in the English language describing your medication and medical condition and you import no more than three months supply.

Departing Australia

Many prescriptions medicines are financially subsidised by the Australian Government under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). You can only take out of Australia the amount of medication you need. You should carry a medical and/or dental practitioner’s letter and complete the PBS Medicine Export Declaration available from Medicare Australia.

Important note: If you are residing or visiting Australia for 3 months or longer and require ongoing medications, it is advisable that you visit an Australian medical practitioner to obtain your prescriptions. If you are intending to have your medications sent through the mail or via courier, import permits will be required prior to importing the medications. It is recommended that you enquire about the import procedures before you arrive in Australia.

Protected wildlife

Australia's strict laws control the import and export of protected plants and animals and associated products. This can include regulated products such as traditional medicines ivory, snake or reptile skin, orchids, turtle shell, caviar and many hunting trophies.

Heritage-listed goods

You need to apply for a permit to import or export heritage-listed goods including works of art, stamps, coins, archaeological objects, minerals and specimens.

Veterinary products

Declare all veterinary drugs and medicines. This includes products that contain substances prohibited without a permit.

Defence and strategic goods

Permits are required to import or export defence and strategic goods. For more information on which goods fit into this category, refer to Customs and Border Protection’s Export controls for defence and strategic goods factsheet.

Declaring restricted items

Item

Declare on Arrival

Declare on Departure

For more details, contact

Firearms, weapons and ammunition

Yes

Yes

Customs and Border Protection
1300 363 263
http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5834.asp

Illegal pornography Yes Yes Customs and Border Protection
1300 363 263
http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5834.asp

Performance and image enhancing drugs

Yes

Yes

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
1300 027 232
http://www.asada.gov.au/

Therapeutic Goods Administration
1800 020 653
http://www.tga.gov.au/

Currency A$10,000 or over

Yes

Yes

AUSTRAC
1800 021 037
http://www.austrac.gov.au/

Food, plants, animals and biological goods

Yes

No

Department of Agriculture
1800 020 504
http://www.daff.gov.au/

Medicines and substances which may be subject to misuse, abuse or dependence

Yes

Yes

Medicare Australia
1800 552 152
http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/

Therapeutic Goods Administration
1800 020 653
http://www.tga.gov.au/

Protected wildlife and wildlife products

Yes

Yes

Department of Environment
+ 61 2 6274 1900
http://www.environment.gov.au/

Heritage-listed goods

Yes

Yes

Department of Environment
+ 61 2 6274 1900
http://www.environment.gov.au/

Veterinary products

Yes

Yes

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
+ 61 2 6210 4701
http://www.apvma.gov.au/

Defence and strategic goods

Yes

Yes

Customs and Border Protection
1300 363 263
http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5834.asp

Carrying expensive items

If you are departing Australia with expensive items (such as computers, cameras and video cameras) and you intend to bring them back to Australia, register these items on the Goods Exported in Passenger Baggage form at the end of this section. You cannot use this form if you intend claiming a refund under the Tourist Refund Scheme. The goods registered must be easily identifiable; serial numbers etc must be included.

If possible, goods are to be carried in hand baggage and the officer who performs your immigration clearance at the outwards control point will check the goods and validate your form by signing and stamping it. If items are too large to be carried and must be included in your hold baggage, contact the closest Customs and Border Protection office for advice on where the goods may be inspected.

Once registered, you do not need to declare these articles on your return to Australia but you should keep the registration form handy in case we have any questions.

For jewellery and other goods not readily identifiable, carrying proof of ownership in the form of receipts or insurance documents will help if you are questioned about the goods on return.

You may take any personal goods out of Australia without having to pay duty/tax on these goods when you return (other than items that you purchased duty/tax free in Australia before your trip and which are in excess of your duty-free concession).

Goods purchased duty or tax free in Australia must be taken with you and inspected at the departure point. You may also need to declare these on your return (See Duty-free Concessions)

Goods exported in passenger baggage form (12 kb)


Did you know?

If you are taking medications, you should contact the consulates or embassies of countries to be visited well before departure to confirm that the medicines and the quantities to be carried are permitted. It might also help in your dealings with Australian and overseas authorities if you have a prescription and a doctor's letter explaining your medical condition and the medications, prescription and otherwise, that you are taking for it.

Caution - Taking prescription medicine subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) overseas that are not for your personal use or for the use of someone travelling with you, is illegal. A $5000 fine and/or a two-year jail sentence is the penalty for dealing with PBS medicine in a way other than which it was meant. For more information, phone Medicare Australia's Travelling with PBS medicine inquiry line: 1800 500 147, or visit www.medicareaustralia.gov.au.

It is illegal to take or send out of Australia, without a permit, items identified as important to Australia's cultural heritage. For information on requirements and permits, contact the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts on phone (02) 6271 1610, fax (02) 6271 1122, email movable.heritage@dcita.gov.au or visit www.dcita.gov.au

The export of firearms and ammunition requires a Restricted Goods Permit obtained from Customs and Border Protection before export. Certain goods with dual military/civilian uses are also subject to restrictions. Contact the Defence Export Control Office to see if a permit is required.

The export of Australian native animals and plants, or products made from them, is either prohibited or restricted. For further information on the applicable prohibitions and restrictions, and the requirements which must be met to obtain a permit, contact the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Australia on 02 6274 1900 or visit http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/.

You should protect yourself from infectious diseases and see your doctor early about medications and vaccination, as some vaccinations need time to take effect. Read the Travelsafe pamphlets for information on how to protect yourself from infectious diseases. These pamphlets are available at Customs and Border Protection offices.

There are severe penalties for Australian citizens or residents who engage in child prostitution activities overseas. For further information about the law, see the EPACT website.

Customs and Border Protection officers no longer stamp Australian passports as a matter of course but should you require evidence of travel you may ask the officer to do so.

If you are receiving a payment through Centrelink, call them on 131 021 before you travel overseas. Your payment may be stopped while you are away or you may have to pay money back if you do not contact Centrelink before departure.

If you are a temporary resident, you might have money in Australia you don't know about.
If you earn more than $A450 in a calendar month while working in Australia, your employer is required by law to contribute to your retirement by paying money into a "superannuation" account.
To find out more about the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP), visit the Australian Taxation Office's superannuation website.

Copyright piracy and trade mark counterfeiting are illegal.
By buying pirated or counterfeit items, not only could you end up with a flawed product, you are supporting an illegal trade that could involve serious criminal activity.
You can play an important role in combating copyright piracy and counterfeiting of trade marks by not bringing pirated or counterfeit goods into Australia. In some circumstances pirated and counterfeit goods imported into Australia are liable to seizure by Customs and Border Protection and people importing such goods may be subject to civil litigation or criminal prosecution.

Bribing of foreign officials
As part of the Australian Government's efforts to promote a high standard of integrity in international business transactions, Customs and Border Protection reminds travellers that the bribing of foreign officials is a crime prosecutable under Australian law. The criminal penalties are significant, and include the possibility of imprisonment. For more detail on this issue, visit the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department's foreign bribery web site at www.ag.gov.au/foreignbribery.


Passport Stamping

Note: The Australian Government no longer provides a port and date stamp in your passport on departure from Australia without a request. If you need a stamp in your passport, you must ask us when you depart Australia.

Australia issues electronic visas and electronically records all movements of passengers into and out of Australia. You can access your own International Movement Records over the counter at any Immigration Office or by completing the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Request for International Movement Records form.