Attempted biosecurity breach earns traveller a $3,300 penalty and visa cancellation
Stiff penalties and refusal of entry into Australia await those who attempt to avoid our border biosecurity measures.
On Sunday 7 May 2023, biosecurity officers conducted an inspection on an incoming passenger at Perth International Airport who had declared nothing on their incoming passenger card.
Upon inspection, biosecurity officers found the passenger had over 1.8kg of pork sausage and 360g of donkey glue, with both products posing a huge biosecurity risk.
Biosecurity officers issued the passenger with a $3,300 infringement notice and referred the passenger to the Australian Border Force for visa cancellation.
Department Secretary and Australia’s Director of Biosecurity, Andrew Metcalfe AO said our biosecurity officers are working tirelessly to ensure that we keep foot and mouth and other diseases out of our country – everyone entering Australia needs to remember this.
“Our message is loud and clear – if you are in doubt, declare your items. It’s the safest option. We will be checking, and we are grateful that the vast majority of travellers do the right thing” Secretary Metcalfe said.
“The consequences of attempting to circumvent our biosecurity laws are severe. In this case the visitor was hit with a large infringement notice and turned around at the airport – so they don’t even get to experience Australia.”
Deputy Secretary, Biosecurity and Compliance Group, Dr Chris Locke said that 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.
“Not only has this passenger been turned around at the border and has wasted a trip – they have been given an infringement of $3,300 for intentionally trying to circumvent our biosecurity laws, said Dr Locke.
“The threat of foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease haven’t gone away – the threats that we face at our borders are real and the work our biosecurity officers do every day prevents these diseases and pests from coming into our country.”
Find out more about your responsibilities when travelling to Australia.
- On 1 January this year, Australia increased penalties for biosecurity breaches from $222 per penalty point to $275 per penalty point.
- Previously, a 12-point penalty infringement was $2664. It is now $3,300.
- Travellers who have their visa cancelled are removed from Australia on the earliest available flight and can face an exclusion period of 3 years before they are able to reapply for a visa.
- When travelling to Australia, know what you can bring in and always fill out your Incoming Passenger Card truthfully. Find out more about your responsibilities when travelling to Australia: www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/travelling/to-australia.