Those celebrating Lunar New Year in 2022 are reminded to ensure any gifts sent or brought to Australia from overseas do not pose a biosecurity risk.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said gifts could contain pests and diseases that can seriously impact Australia’s environment, agriculture and tourism industries.
“Lunar New Year is a special celebration for many people here and overseas, but around this time we see lots of biosecurity risk items intercepted at the border,” Minister Littleproud said.
“These items are brought to Australia by international travellers and found in mail items received at our international mail centres.
“Gifts that might pose a biosecurity risk include those containing products such as meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables, plant material and herbs used in traditional medicines.
“Some popular Lunar New Year gifts contain pork, which could carry African swine fever, a serious and highly contagious disease which affects pigs.
“Fruit can carry invasive pests such as exotic fruit flies, and diseases such as citrus canker. These could seriously impact on our fruit industries.
“To help safeguard Australia and ensure your gifts arrive safely, make sure you, your friends and family do not bring or send biosecurity risk items to Australia.
“If you are travelling here, you must declare any food, plant material or animal products on your incoming passenger declaration or you could face serious penalties.
“This includes an infringement notice of up to A$2,664, and for more serious offences your visa may be cancelled, and you will be refused entry into Australia.
“If you are expecting or ordering gifts from overseas, make sure they are not a biosecurity risk or they will be exported or destroyed.
“The best way to ensure gifts arrive safely and on time is to check what items may not be permitted into Australia and to share this message with your friends and family.”