Documents required for clearance
All arriving passengers must have a valid
travel document and complete an Incoming Passenger Card.
SmartGate allows you to self-process through passport control using ePassport data and facial recognition technology.
If you hold an eligible ePassport and are aged 16 years or over, you are eligible to use SmartGate when arriving at Australian airports.
Airline crew who meet these criteria can choose to use SmartGate instead of going through the crew lane.
Australian and New Zealand ePassport holders travelling on military orders are not eligible to use SmartGate.
All other travellers must present their passport and completed
Incoming Passenger Card to one of our officers on arrival before collecting their baggage.
If you are not an Australian citizen, you must hold a valid visa to enter Australia which must be presented at the Australian border along with a valid
travel document . Your visa should be arranged before travelling to Australia. Special provisions apply to most New Zealand citizens, and to people eligible to transit Australia without a visa. For more information on checking in please see
When you reach your port of arrival into Australia, you need to present your passport and completed
Passenger Card to one of our officers. If you are not an Australian citizen, a valid visa to enter Australia must also be presented along with your valid travel document.
When you permanently leave the ship, you need to present your baggage and
Passenger Card to us for clearance.
Sometimes our officers may check your passport and
Passenger Card on board the vessel before you arrive in Australia.
For information on Advanced Passenger Processing, Maritime Crew Visas and Superyacht Crew visas please see
Items you must declare on arrival (including cash/currency)
It is illegal to carry illicit drugs including marijuana, cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamines in and out of Australia.
Other items may be restricted. You may 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
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.
Do not carry illicit drugs. Penalties for drug offences in Australia are severe and could result in a jail term.
Firearms, weapons and ammunition
You must declare all firearms, weapons and ammunition including:
- real and imitation firearms
- air soft pistols (BB guns) that discharge a pellet by means of compressed gas, commonly purchased as "toy" guns
- paintball markers
- all knives
- electric shock devices
- laser pointers
- body armour
- pepper sprays
- knuckle dusters
- parts and accessories for use with firearms and weapons
Most of these items require that written permission be obtained before they are imported, and may be subject to other import requirements such as unique serial numbers and safety testing.
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 can generally not be imported into Australia unless a written permit has been obtained before they are imported.
Objectionable material, including illegal pornography
Objectionable material is controlled on import and export. This includes publications which show child pornography, bestiality, explicit sexual violence, crime or violence (including footage of beheadings), instruction in crime or violence, or advocates the doing of a terrorist act.
This also includes any such objectionable material contained on an electronic device, such as a hard drive, computer or mobile phone.
There is no limit to the amount of currency you can bring in or out of Australia. However, you must declare amounts of AUD.10,000 or more in Australian currency or foreign equivalent.
You must disclose any promissory notes, travellers' cheques, personal cheques, money orders, postal orders or other bearer negotiable instruments, regardless of value, if requested by one of our officers or a police officer.
You need to declare medicines and substances which might be subject to misuse, abuse or dependence, such as:
- 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.
- Prescription medicines that contain a controlled substance such human growth hormone, opioid analgesics, cannabis or narcotic based medicines need to be declared. For more information about controlled substances visit the
Drug Control Section at the Department of Health website.
- You should carry a letter or prescription from your doctor. It should be written in English, or if not, accompanied by a translation. It should outline the name of the medicine and the dosage you require. We suggest you keep your medicines in the original packaging with the dispensing label intact.
- Do not bring more than three month’s supply with you.
- If you are residing or visiting Australia for three months or longer and require ongoing medications, you should visit an Australian doctor 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 that contain a controlled substance.
- You should enquire about the import procedures before you arrive in Australia.
- The Department of Health has more
advice for travellers bringing medications into Australia.
No need to declare
You do not need to declare medications such as aspirin, paracetamol or Australian over the counter medications.
Food, plants, animals and biological goods
You must declare certain food items, plant material, animal items, equipment used with animals, biological materials, soils and sand to
Department of Agriculture officers on arrival.
If you don't, you could be given an on-the-spot fine or face prosecution.
Food, plant material and animal items from overseas could introduce serious pests and diseases into Australia, devastating our valuable agriculture and tourism industries and unique environment.
Australia's strict laws control the import and export of protected wildlife and associated products. This includes:
- traditional medicinal products
- ivory products
- many hunting trophies.
You need to apply for a permit to import or export heritage-listed goods including:
- works of art
- archaeological objects
Declare all veterinary drugs and medicines. This includes products that contain substances prohibited without a permit.
Defence and strategic goods
Written permits must be obtained in advance to import or export defence and strategic goods. For more information on which goods fit into this category, refer to
Export controls for defence and strategic goods factsheet.
Declaring restricted items
If you are in doubt, declare your goods or ask one of our officers for advice.
Declaring goods does not necessarily mean your baggage will be examined.
There are severe penalties for not declaring
prohibited or restricted items and goods on which you must pay duty/tax. Presenting false receipts also carries heavy penalties.
See information for
Other things you should know when arriving
- Your baggage may be X-rayed when you arrive.
- Fireworks, flammable liquids, corrosives, gas cylinders are not permitted on an aircraft or in your baggage.
- If you're visiting Australia you can bring laptops and similar electronic equipment duty-free into Australia provided you take them with you when you leave.
- As a routine part of their work, our officers may question you at any time.
Trained dogs may also be used to detect illegal drugs or prohibited imports.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of your dealings with us, please ask to speak to a senior officer. You can also see
Tips for Travellers for more information. The Department also has a
guide for travellers which provides information you may need before going through the border.