I have baked a large rich fruit cake decorated with marzipan and sugar icing for my son and his family. Can I bring it with me into Australia?

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    Possible duplicate of Bread, breakfast bar or canned food are allowed to be brought into australia? – user40521 Dec 20 '18 at 12:43
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    @JanDoggen Seems wrong to close this as a duplicate to a question which has itself been closed as unclear. – MJeffryes Dec 20 '18 at 13:04
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    @MJeffryes IMO both the duplicate linked question and it’s answer are very clear. – Augustine of Hippo Dec 20 '18 at 13:42
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    The Aussie authorities are NOTORIOUSLY tough about foodstuffs arriving. Nobody knows why this is, but it's just one of those strange things. You will, almost certainly, struggle to do this. – Fattie Dec 20 '18 at 19:53
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    @Fattie It is neither strange nor a secret why Australians are so strict on this issue. Being an isolated island, they don't have many diseases, pests and parasites common in agriculture in most other parts of the world and they are doing their justified best to prevent them from being introduced. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Dec 21 '18 at 13:02

The Australian Border Force has a new web site on what you can bring to Australia. Under "Top items" you'll find this:

Homemade food - Meals, cakes or anything you made yourself can generally not come.


Maybe, maybe not. It is unfortunately difficult to tell in advance.

mdewey already linked to the relevant page from the Australian Department of Agriculture. They only give you guidance on which products you have to declare. If in doubt, you should declare any kind of food, plant or animal matter when entering Australia. They have very strict rules on what is allowed to import and the penalties can be quite severe if you fail to declare something.

I don't know the exact content of your fruit cake, but it will likely contain some of the following products, which have to be declared:

  • fresh, frozen or dried fruits
  • herbs and spices
  • egg

After you have declared the food on arrival, it will be inspected by a biosecurity officer, who on a case-by-case basis will decide if you are allowed to take it in or not.

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    If allowed: fine. But this answer should include a) the fate of the cake and b) the fate of the cake's carrier if the cake is not allowed. – simon at rcl Dec 20 '18 at 17:02
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    If you have declared, if the cake is not allowed it will be destroyed but there will be no problems for the carrier of it. If not declared, but found, the cake will still be destroyed and the carrier will face stiff fines and can be facing more actions (of which I am not sure at this time.) – Willeke Dec 20 '18 at 20:43
  • I suppose someone having a bad day could say marzipan fell under the rubric of nuts to add to your list of ingredients. – mdewey Dec 21 '18 at 9:59
  • @mdewey They don't have to be difficult to complain about marzipan. It's not made of nuts, but of seeds (almonds), which is also listed as an item you have to declare. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Dec 21 '18 at 12:56
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    @simon at rcl: as long as you declare your food stuffs, you can pretty much bring anything. They'll just confiscate and destroy it if it's judged to not be acceptable. You won't get any penalty if you declare. If you don't declare but try to sneak things in though, things get complicated quickly (I live in Australia, and regularly carry food across the border). – Lie Ryan Dec 21 '18 at 13:42

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