An international traveller has been fined $2,664 and refused entry to Australia after attempting to bring six kilograms of meat products into the country, in a serious breach of Australia’s biosecurity laws.
Australian biosecurity officers uncovered the undeclared meat during a baggage inspection at Perth Airport last Tuesday morning, October 18.
The traveller failed to declare 3.1 kilograms of duck, 1.4 kilograms of beef rendang, over 500 grams of frozen beef and nearly 900 grams of chicken concealed in his luggage.
The traveller answered ‘no’ on their Incoming Passenger Card when asked whether they were bringing any meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, fruit or vegetables into Australia.
Minister for Home Affairs, Clare O’Neil said after biosecurity officers found the items, the traveller was referred to Australian Border Force (ABF) officers, who cancelled their visa.
“This is why legislation is in place to cancel the visa of any traveller who commits a significant biosecurity breach or repeatedly contravenes biosecurity laws,” Minister O’Neil said.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said last month the Albanese Government introduced tougher laws to ban meat items for personal use from countries with foot and mouth disease.
“The traveller contravened subsection 533(1) of the Biosecurity Act 2015 by knowingly providing a false or misleading document (the Incoming Passenger Card) to a biosecurity officer on arrival to Australia.
“This is a very serious breach and this traveller has been hit with the toughest penalties at our disposal.
“The actions of Biosecurity Officers and ABF at the border have once again protected the Australian community and our agricultural sector from harmful biosecurity risks that have the potential to do enormous damage.
“Strictly enforcing our borders ensures a strong biosecurity system to protect our international trade reputation as a leading supplier of safe, healthy, high-quality food.
“All travellers should openly and honestly declare food items on arrival in Australia so that biosecurity officers can inspect the items and assess the biosecurity risk.
“If the goods are permitted into Australia, they will be returned to the traveller. However, if they don’t declare risk items, they will be caught and penalised.”
Travellers who have their visa cancelled are removed from Australia on the earliest available flight, and can face an exclusion period of three years before they are able to reapply for a visa.
When travelling to Australia, know what you can bring in and always fill out an Incoming Passenger Card truthfully. Find out more about your responsibilities when travelling to Australia.
Source: Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Home Affairs