Can I Take Food Into Another Country?

Fruits and VegetablesThis is an area where quite a few people get into trouble.

They innocently (some even knowingly) take their favourite foods from their own country, or food they have received on the plane, through customs without declaring it and then find themselves wearing a hefty fine.

Any food that is of an organic nature, i.e. any food that is animal based, dairy, fish, honey, plants, soil, seed, fruits and vegetable, etc. is not allowed to be taken from one country to another, regardless of how it is packed. These items can carry pests and diseases that may destroy crops and livestock and cause problems to public health.

Chocolate and other sweets are generally ok, as long as they don’t contain any restricted items.

Hiding it in your luggage or acting like you weren’t aware won’t help. Quarantine is a serious issue and those sniffer dogs will find your food!

The same rules apply when you are travelling home or if you are mailing a gift to someone. As tempting as it may be, don’t take food from another country home with you. With our societies are becoming more and more multicultural, chances are you’ll find the same food at home anyway, so why risk it.

If you can’t find it at home, you can look forward to eating it again on your return visit.

The short of it is, if you are carrying food, including food that was given to you on the flight – declare it. Yes, it may be confiscated, but it’s better than wearing a hefty fine.

Remember, quarantine matters!

The same rules generally apply for every country. For more information, click on the images for the following government websites –


Link to Directgov - public services all in one place


Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service


Department of Homeland Security

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