- Items you must declare on departure (including cash/currency)
If you are departing, have the following ready for Customs and Border Protection clearance:
- completed outgoing passenger card
- boarding pass
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 our declaring restricted items 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
- air soft pistols (BB guns) that discharge a pellet by means of compressed gas, commonly purchased as "toy" guns
- paintball markers
- electric shock devices
- laser pointers
- body armour
- pepper sprays
- knuckle dusters
- parts and accessories for use with firearms and weapons
Highly offensive pornography is controlled on import and export. This includes publications and any media which depicts child pornography, bestiality, and explicit sexual violence.
There is no limit to the amount of currency you can bring into or take 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.
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.
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.
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.
The export of Australian native animals and plants, or products made from them, is either prohibited or restricted.
The Department of the Environment has more information about wildlife trade including prohibitions and restrictions, and the requirements which must be met to obtain a permit.
You need to apply for a permit to import or export heritage-listed goods including:
- works of art
- archaeological objects
The Ministry for the Arts has more information on requirements and permits for exporting cultural property from Australia.
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. See our Export controls for defence and strategic goods fact sheet for more information.
The export of firearms and ammunition requires a restricted goods permit obtained from Customs and Border Protection before export.
Certain goods with dual military/civilianuses are also subject to restrictions.
Contact the Defence Export Control Office to see if a permit is required.
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 (12 kb).
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.
Other things you should know before you leave
- You should protect yourself from infectious diseases and see your doctor early about medications and vaccination, as some vaccinations need time to take effect.
- 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.
- If you are receiving a payment through Centrelink, see their information on receiving payments while outside Australia.
- If you are a temporary resident, you might have money in Australia you don't know about. If you earn more than AUD450 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. Find out more about the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment.
- Bribing of foreign officials is a crime prosecutable under Australian law. The criminal penalties are significant, and include the possibility of imprisonment.
- 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.
See our handy guide for travellers – know before you go for more travel information.
We no longer stamp Australian passports as a matter of course but should you require evidence of travel you may ask one of our officers to do so.