Quarantine Matters! is a major public awareness campaign designed to encourage all Australians to share the responsibility of quarantine - an issue with impact across the whole community.
AQIS has stepped up its already strict screening procedures, with almost every passenger arriving in Australia now having luggage and mail checked by detector dogs and state-of-the-art X-ray machines.
The following items cannot be mailed or imported in Australia under quarantine laws designed to protect Australian industry and environment:
* Souvenirs, artefacts and goods made of unprocessed animal products such as rawhide, feathers, teeth and bones
* Dried flower arrangements and potpourri
* Handicrafts made from or containing seed, pine cones, bark, moss or straw
Meat and Meat Products
* All uncanned meat – fresh, dried, frozen, cooked, smoked, salted or preserved, including salami and sausages
* Packaged meals (including noodles) containing meat
* Mooncakes containing meat
* Remedies and medicines containing animal material
* Pet food including canned and dried food and supplements
Plants, Seeds, Soil
* Plant material including plants, cuttings, roots and bulbs
* Seeds including commercially packaged seeds (Some special conditions apply – please contact AQIS)
* Soil including small souvenir or sentimental samples
* Footwear and equipment contaminated with soil, manure or plant material
* Gifts and toys filled with seeds, sand, soil or straw
Dairy and Egg Products
* Cheese, milk, butter and other dairy products (Some special conditions apply – please contact AQIS)
* Packaged meals and other foods containing more than 10% dairy or egg (whole, dried and powered, for example cake mix, salad dressing)
* Mayonnaise or mooncakes containing egg
Dried Plant Material
* Tea containing items such as seeds or fruit skin (for example citrus and apple peel)
* Remedies and medicines containing herbs, seeds, bark, fungi and dried plant material
* Popping corn and raw nuts
* Medical and animal samples
* Diagnostic kits and mirco-organisms (Some special conditions apply – please contact
Fruit and Vegetables
* All fresh fruit and vegetables
* Dried fruit and vegetables containing seeds or fruit skin
In 1996 the Federal Government commissioned Professor Mal Nairn to review quarantine policies and operations, to ensure Australian quarantine can meet the challenges of the new millennium.
That review recommended substantial changes to quarantine where it matters, at Australia’s airports and seaports, in the minds of Australians returning from overseas, and with visitors coming to Australia to see the very things effective quarantine protects ¾ our environment and our unique plants and animals.
Over the past 18 months AQIS has stepped up its already strict screening procedures, with almost every passenger arriving in Australia now having luggage and mail checked by detector dogs and state-of-the-art X-ray machines.
A 1995 survey of airport ‘Green Channels’ found six per cent of passengers arriving at Australian airports weren’t declaring prohibited items and a further 29 per cent weren’t declaring other material of quarantine concern. That means 180,000 people a year putting Australia at risk.
A second survey in early 1998 showed great improvement. The total number of people failing to declare quarantine items fell to 21 per cent. More importantly, the number failing to declare prohibited items halved to just over three per cent. These signs are encouraging. It is this genuine goodwill that Quarantine Matters! builds on.
The key challenge for Quarantine Matters! is to close the gap between good intentions and actual quarantine behaviour. The campaign mobilises existing communications and information channels and networks.
The campaign targets the main sources of quarantine risk, and works to build partnerships with groups whose support is critical in converting awareness of quarantine to genuine behavioural change.
* international travellers, both Australians travelling overseas and international visitors to Australia;
* people from non-English speaking backgrounds, including Australian residents; international students and business visitors;
* the import, cargo and freight handling industries;
* the travel and tourism industry, both on-shore and off-shore;
* the Australian community, particularly schools.
Campaign elements include:
* an advertising program, principally directed to travellers and the travel industry;
* a special communications campaign, using culturally appropriate materials and publicity channels;
* a schools program, which includes multi-media resources and an Internet site developed to Australian curriculum standards;
National Quarantine Week in the last week of April each year;
* a traveller’s campaign, including holiday and travel exhibition;
* an industry partnerships program to enhance awareness, build support and win loyalty among organisations and associations with a major quarantine stake;
* National Quarantine Awards acknowledging the efforts of individuals and organisations in sharing the responsibility for Australian quarantine; and
* promotional materials including posters, fact sheets, bookmarks, and traveller brochures.
The campaign is managed by AQIS Public Relations in Canberra, with support from AQIS regional offices in all states and territories.
For more information regarding the AQIS Quarantine Matters! campaign, you can email us or call:
Campaign Manager 02 6271 6386
Campaign Officers 02 6271 6405
02 6272 5626
Visit the Australian
Customs web site for more information.