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If some food you're bringing in is refused by quarantine, are they sometimes willing to let you eat it? Assume there isn't a massive queue behind you and the officer is in a good mood.

Background: I received some chocolates on Valentine's day in (no prizes for guessing!) Japan, and I'm returning to Australia. Chocolates should be pretty safe, though.

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11  
For some reason reading this question's title made me wonder if you were considering raiding the quarantine bin... –  Mark Mayo Feb 26 '12 at 9:51
    
I've been specifically told multiple times when returning to Australia that chocolate is indeed fine. –  hippietrail Feb 26 '12 at 12:39
    
Related question: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/10930/… –  Andrew Grimm Dec 3 '12 at 2:30
    
When arriving from Hong Kong a few weeks ago we were told not to declare packaged chocolates by a customs official. However the form says "any food". –  WW. Mar 22 '13 at 10:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Obviously this is a question that could have very different answers depending on the specific country.

For your specific example of Australia, the official list of actions that can be taken for refused items are :

  • pay for the item to be treated to make it safe (for example fumigation, irradiation)
  • store the item at the airport for collection when you leave Australia
  • re–export the item or
  • have the item destroyed by AQIS.

So thus, no, eating the item is not an option - at least, not officially...

Unless there's something very special about them, importing chocolates into Australia is not a problem - just remember that you DO still need to declare them under the "Food" question.

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There's this documentary / reality show called Border Security: Australia on Australian border control and they show on that eating is not allowed. The fine / fee for disposal is 200+ Australian dollars. –  Ankur Banerjee Feb 26 '12 at 11:00
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There is no "fee for disposal" (See the URL I included for details on which of the options have fees). With the exception of things that are outright illegal (eg, drugs) the "fine" is generally only if you do not declare something, and then get caught with it. If you declare an item and it's deemed to be not allowed into the country, then there is no fine. –  Doc Feb 26 '12 at 11:15
    
Ah I see. I guess they never really clarified on that show that the goods are undeclared. –  Ankur Banerjee Feb 27 '12 at 0:36
    
so you should to declare chocolate in food items? :o I never declare for this kind of thing. –  Rudy Gunawan Feb 27 '12 at 5:53
    
Also any creams that contains honey or bee pollen. Australia and New Zealand are both very strict on food due to their strong and uncontaminated agriculture industries. At one point NZ wouldn't allow muddy shoes from people arriving from Britain due to fairs of CJD, I'm not sure if this is still the case. –  Stuart Mar 2 '12 at 14:21

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