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Am heading across the ditch from NZ soon, for about 12 days, and I recently learned that Australia has some restrictions on natural medicines (e.g., herbal capsules that support various organs in the body).
This is stink news for me as I am currently following a naturopathic regime that involves taking loads of lovely herbal concoctions daily (most of which are unavailable in Oz because of the restrictions). I am not keen to just drop the regime for the period that I am in Oz, for health reasons.
I wondered if anyone here has ever taken herbal medicines into Australia , whether sneakily or openly, and what the result was? I am hoping that if I take my goodies in my pockets (rather than in my bag), they'll not be detected.
Yeah, bit of a weird query, but any help appreciated.
Hot tip - Australia has the strictest bio-security customs in the world. Every bag gets scanned for organic material and you will have to sign a document saying you are not bringing anything illegal into Australia on entry. We even have delightful tv show called border security where we get to watch people like you get dragged off to the search room and then get evicted from the country. I suggest you don't even think about bringing anything illegal into the country. Maybe post it to someone in advance?
P.s. I got a fine and an official record last time I came back into Australia after accidentally bringing in a squashed part of a tomato (that somehow had fallen out of a sandwich and ended up in the bottom of the my pack). They detected it using the bag scanners. Crazy technology.
If it can set seed, release propagules, contaminate the soil, cross pollinate with native/non-native plants or anything else that in any way harms our natural or agricultural systems then it gets a stern vote of no from me.
To give you an example of natural medicine gone horribly wrong, I have just spent half the summer trying to eradicate St John's Wort from our shire.
Declare, declare, declare, if you don't then I hope you get caught.
I got a great story. After arriving in Wellington, getting to where I was staying, and ripping my puffer out of my pack 'cause it was cold, we then headed down to cuba st for a coffee. When I went to pay, I reached into my pocket and pulled out half an ounce of mary jane that I had forgotten about. Oooops. Luckily the kiwi's are'nt so strict. Did the same years later in Germany, with a much much smaller amount. Had passed thru Singapore on the way as well. Scared the sh*t out of me. Almost got arrested for another reason altogether that time in Singapore as well....but that is another story. Anyway, am a bit more careful these days.
On 9/03/2011 shortman wrote:
>Oooops. Luckily the kiwi's are'nt so strict.
I think they are even more paranoid than Australia about bio security! They always inspect my outdoor gear in great detail. Ive spent hours sitting around waiting for them to finish with gassing my tent.
Hey, kiwi bro. You oughta use this trip to rehab yourself from all that useless crap your crystal-waggling hippy nutjob therapist is ripping you off with.......none of it is helping.
Also, that gluten-free, lactose-free diet they have you on..........its really starting to piss your friends off. Every time they wanna go to a restaurant or have people over for dinner, what oughta be a simple and fun process turns into a major logistical exercise!
On 9/03/2011 nmonteith wrote:
>P.s. I got a fine and an official record last time I came back into Australia
>after accidentally bringing in a squashed part of a tomato (that somehow
>had fallen out of a sandwich and ended up in the bottom of the my pack).
>They detected it using the bag scanners. Crazy technology.
Reminds me of being in a crowded terminal at Auckland Airport trying to repack a tent they had fully pulled apart and just shoved in a crate and handed back to me in a tangled mess. Luckily there were no crumbs or bits of tomato!
On 9/03/2011 tris wrote:
>One of my favourite quotes is from Tim Minchin. It goes like this.
>"By definition, Alternative medicine has either not been proven to work,
>or been proved not to work.
>Do you know what they call alternative medicine that's been proven to
>Great stuff. See it here if you want the context.
Beat me to it!
Neil wins the big cookie (that one I'm holding in my avatar - see?) for the most helpful reply. And I too have waited yonks in a Kiwi airport (after a long haul flight - fun!!!) while customs pulled my tent apart to determine whether they ought to spray poison all over it.
I can only shake my head at these laws on natural medicines. But hey, as we all know, big pharma is most caring and ethical, and all their products are safe, treat root causes of illness, and will leave you a picture of health.....
I bought some Lemon Grass back from Thailanda while ago. I declared it cause I had all sorts of bamboo and crap. Some thai local plucked this lemon grass from the field, stuffed it in a plastic bag and sealed it with a $5 bag heat sealer. Customs looked at it and said "Oh, it's sealed, thats OK". WTF?
Can I bring health supplements into Australia?
Commercially prepared and packaged 100 per cent synthetic or mineral health supplements do not require an import permit to be imported to Australia.
Health supplements containing plant/herbal based ingredients do not require an import permit if they meet the following conditions:
a) The product is commercially prepared and packaged and is in one of the following forms: capsules, tablets, vials for injection, liquid, powder, ointment
b) The product is for human consumption only
c) The product is imported into Australia (whether personally or by post) by a person who intends to use it for their own personal use
d) The product is imported in a quantity of no more than three months supply. Three months supply can be determined by, but is not limited to:
The label dosage advice
A letter in English from a medical practitioner, naturopath or alternative health provider
A statutory declaration by the importer stating that the product is for personal use only and is less than three months supply
e) All material in the consignment must be labelled with full botanical names i.e. genus and species. Each package must be labelled
f) All material in the consignment must be thoroughly dried and not capable of propagation.
Actually, the more I read, the customs info seems to suggest that as long as I declare my supplements, and as long as they are in capsule form (unable to propagate), and it's only a limited amount for my personal use, then it should be ok. And if not, customs will just destroy the capsules.