Update after having been on the trip
Australia doesn't care about it anymore. I filled in my arrival card and marked "Yes" for importing medical supplies. The lady at customs asked me to elaborate, immediately dismissed it when I said "eliquids", and let me through customs with no checks.
I assume there's still a limit to the amount of eliquid you can bring into the country, but they weren't interested in actually seeing the eliquids that I had declared.
I am leaving for a 5 week holiday to Australia (and New Zealand) soon.
I moved to e-cigarettes a while ago, and recently found out that they are generally prohibited in Australia (barring a prescription).
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Personal Importation Scheme in Australia allows a person the ability to import a 3-month supply at the one time (max dose recommended by manufacturer) of unapproved therapeutic goods into Australia, and they do not need any approval required by the TGA so long as the following is understood and carried out:
- Goods purchased cannot be sold and are only for personal use or immediate family
- Medicine must have their original packaging and any dispensary labels intact (where necessary)
- Goods are not under any restriction under Australian customs controls or quarantine rules and do not contain contolled substances
- Goods are not to be injectable, nor an they contain any material of human or animal origin (except insulin)
- Quantity of the goods imported within a 12 month period does not exceed 15 months supply of the goods. ( medicines at max dose recommended by manufacturer as well as : Goods that are Schedule 4 or 8 of the Poisons Standard ie) Nicotine E- Liquid must also have a prescription held on file from an Australian registered medical practitioner.
Emphasis mine (and theirs too, I guess).
As I am Belgian, and nowhere near Australia, I can't consult an Australian physician before getting to Australia.
Annoyingly, I can't just travel to Australia and get a prescription there, because you then need to import the nicotine e-liquids from abroad (even if you're an Australian citizen).
Part of me assumes that the rules here are described from the point of view of an Australian citizen (thus not taking tourists into account). It seems a bit counterintuitive that Australians would be allowed to import nicotine e-liquids, but tourists have no way of bringing them along if they have a valid prescription.
Note: I actually already scheduled a doctor's appointment for tomorrow, in order to get a prescription/certificate from my (Belgian) GP. But now I'm unsure if it's actually going to matter or not.
If there's no way for me to bring the e-liquids; I'll (begrudgingly) make my peace with that and will have to resort to smoking cigarettes again. However, I really want to avoid that, so I would like to know in advance whether I'll be allowed to bring them in, because having just under €100 (155 AUD) confiscated won't be an enjoyable first leg of my holiday.
So, on to the questions:
- Will I be able to bring my nicotine e-liquids as a tourist, if I have a prescription?
- Does a Belgian prescription suffice? Is there any information regarding the needed information on the prescription, so that I can pass that along to my doctor?
- If they need an Australian prescription, would they e.g. hold my e-liquids until I return with a local prescription for them; or will I lose the e-liquids indefinitely upon my arrival in Australia?
Note: I was informed that New Zealand had a similar legislature, but I can currently find NZ webshops with nicotine e-liquids, so I assume they have legalized it by now. If not, I'm interested in hearing about it.