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TL;DR: Can I bring dried chillies to Australia?

Dried chillies/capsicum are not permitted and will be destroyed, unless they meet the exclusions listed on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry's urgent actions to protect against khapra beetle webpage.

The Department of Agriculture page above (under "Spices") is seemingly unambiguous, but clicking on that webpage to find out what exactly "meets the exclusions" leads to a maze of twisty regulations, all alike. Chillies from khapra beetle target risk countries are clearly completely banned, but can I bring them in for personal use from other countries not on the list, like Malaysia or Mexico?

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The Exemptions are listed on this page, which is linked from the one you included above (click on 'List of high-risk plant products' to see it).

I won't reproduce the list here, as it will potentially change over time.

It does not appear that there are any exceptions that would allow you to take dries chillies, although it would depend on how they would be treated.

As is always the case with taking items into Australia (or most any other country), the most important thing is that if you do take it, declare it! If you declare something, and it is found not to be allowed, then they will confiscate the item/product, but you will not be fined. If you do not declare it, and are caught with it, you will be fined - with fines now being up to several thousand Australian dollars.

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  • Thanks, so it looks like ground chilli is OK. And the high risk vs not high risk country distinction appears to be irrelevant, the whole chilli ban applies regardless? Dec 2, 2023 at 7:50
  • Re: declaring, I'd much prefer not to buy & bring the thing in the first place if it's not going to be allowed... Dec 2, 2023 at 7:50
  • @lambshaanxy exactly. I'm pretty sure you can buy all the chili you want in Australia... Dec 5, 2023 at 6:12
  • @Johnnyjanko Not the specific Mexican varieties I'm looking for, unfortunately. Although they are available from specialist online shops, so apparently it is possible to import them somehow. Dec 5, 2023 at 6:24
  • @lambshaanxy yes, online shops, and in big cities there must also be specialist brick-and-mortar stores selling exotic varieties of chili... Dec 5, 2023 at 6:53

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