Customs Information for Australians Travelling Overseas This Holiday Season

Customs have released their annual warning for Australians heading overseas during the 2013/2014 Christmas/New Year holiday season.

The Media Release advises all Australian residents to “Know Before You Go” and is provided as an advisory about what items are prohibited imports so that travellers can check before they leave Australia.

Customs have published a brochure under the title Know Before You Go. The brochure is a DL sized document extending to 32 pages of advice and information. UPDATE: The information is now available online and can be found here on the Australian Border Force website

The text of the Media Release is repeated hereunder for ease of reference by our readers:

Customs and Border Protection is reminding holiday-goers to learn the do’s and don’ts before travelling overseas during the Christmas and holiday period.

During 2012/13, Customs and Border Protection officers seized a range of prohibited goods in airports across Australia including:
•performance and image enhancing drugs;
• dangerous weapons such as firearms and knives; and
• goods that are legal in some countries, but prohibited in Australia, such as electric shock devices, knuckle dusters and BB guns.

“People may think that items such as laser pointers, flick knives, and shock devices make inexpensive novelty gifts, but they could end up costing you more than you bargained for,” Regional Director NSW, Tim Fitzgerald, said.

“While these goods may be legal in some countries, they are restricted to import under Australian law. If we catch you trying to bring goods into the country illegally, you could be charged or face serious fines.”

The easiest way for travellers to check what can and can’t be brought back into Australia, is to go online to and read the ‘Know Before You Go’ brochure.

The ‘Know Before You Go’ brochure is a guide for anyone planning to travel internationally over the summer, and covers:
• what goods are prohibited to bring back into Australia;
• how to declare;
• travelling with medication;
• duty and tax; and
• the Tourist Refund Scheme.

“So that your gifts make it home for Christmas, and to avoid unnecessary penalties, don’t waste your money – know the rules before you go overseas,” Officer Fitzgerald said.

Enquiries should be directed to the Customs Information Support Centre on 1300 363 263 or

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