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To Declare Or Not To Declare? Bali Tourists Must Be Mindful Of Travel Purchases 

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As the Bali vacation high season is just around the corner, thousands of Australian holidaymakers are preparing to pack their bags and jet off to the Island of the Gods.

For Bali lovers returning to the island for the umpteenth time, the process of returning home to Oz is easy, but for first-time travelers to Bali, returning to the Land Down Under can be a bit of a mission if they’ve been shopping.

Australian Airport Customs and Immigration

It’s almost impossible not to want to buy everything you see in Bali. Whether its cultural carvings and locally made crafts, to dried spices, coffee, tea and chocolate, to clothing and alcohol, many tourists find themselves buying another bag just to bring home all those Balinese goodies. 

Australian Customs and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry are known to be amongst the most strict in the world.

With some food, plant matter, and animal products from abroad threatening the fragile and unique ecosystems of Australia and the agriculture industry, customs officials are super hot on biosecurity. 

For tourists who have traveled to Bali or outside of Australia before, returning home is pretty straightforward, but for those who are heading back from Bali for the first time or are using Bali as a long layover and are traveling onwards to Australia, there are a few things that must be in order. 

In short, if in doubt, declare it. It is far better to declare something that turns out to be totally permissible rather than not declaring something that really needs to be assessed by a customs officer. 

The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, explain that when passengers are traveling by plane to Australia, they will be given an Incoming Passenger Card by the airline cabin crew. Tourists are reminded that this is a legal document and must be filled out honestly and accurately.

Passengers must mark ‘YES” on the Incoming Passenger Card if traveling with food, plant material, or animal products that must be declared.

A full list of what must be declared, in terms of food and drink, souvenirs, household items, and collectibles, can be found on the website.

It is advisable to give this whole page a thorough read through before traveling. Specific items can be checked on the BICON website, the site dedicated to Australian Biosecurity Import Conditions. 

When it comes to traveling from Bali to Australia, there are some common foods, drinks and souvenirs that tourists by that include Kopi Luwak, also known as Civet Cat Coffee.

The DAFF say “Kopi Luwak/Civet coffee must be declared and inspected on arrival. Products that do not meet import conditions will be exported or destroyed at the importer’s expense.” 

Despite widespread campaigns highlighting the animal abuses behind civet cat coffee in Bali, the product remains one of the most popular souvenir purchases for tourists, largely due to its perceived novelty. 

Civet Cat Coffee Kopi Luwak.jpg

As for other types of coffee that have been produced in Bali and around Indonesia, DAFF explains that coffee that has already been roasted can be bought in Australia for personal use, provided that it is roasted, ground, or processed into an instant coffee drink. Up to 10 kg is permissible.


Wooden carvings are another popular tourist purchase in Bali and are another item that must be declared on arrival in Australia.

DAFF explains, that some wooden products are allowed into the country but under very specific circumstances.


The wooden items must be free from bark, insects, and any sign of damage caused by burrowing insects, disease, or contamination.”Wooden items are allowed into Australia if they are free from bark, insects, and signs of insect damage (such as borer holes) or any other contamination.”

All wooden items must be declared on and inspected by a customs officer on arrival in Australia. 

If in doubt, declare it!

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Thursday 9th of May 2024

Glad to live in europe without all that ridiculous behavior


Friday 3rd of May 2024

Of course putting all this stupid laws aside the best thing you all can do is move out of that woke ridiculously country and pray that the next elections bring people with a normal brain into power. Till then. Thanks but no thanks.


Thursday 2nd of May 2024

It s been awesome, thanks for having me. Loves, INDAH GUEST.


Wednesday 1st of May 2024

The crap sold he I can get in Walmart cheaper

Wayan Bo

Wednesday 1st of May 2024

How much Thai ganja can be brought to kangaroo country, 5 kilograms perhaps❓❗️🤣