Information for yachts travelling to Australia (arrival)

When you arrive in Australia, you must first call at a port of entry where the Department of Home Affairs, and Department of Agriculture formalities can be completed. Ports of entry are shown on the map of Australia.

When entering Australian waters you are required to clearly display the International Pratique Q-flag (yellow). A further requirement is that the craft travels directly to an appointed boarding station.


The Department of Home Affairs, and Department of Agriculture clearance must be completed prior to going ashore.

  • Please stay on board. No persons other than a Department of Agriculture or Border Force officer is allowed to board your craft, nor can any person, animal or article leave the craft until you have been given full clearance;
  • Depending on your arrival time, the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Agriculture may require all persons to remain on board overnight before clearing you the following day;
  • Don't throw any waste or foodstuffs overboard while you're in Australian waters or while you are moored. Use designated biosecurity disposal points;
  • Keep all food and animals secure until your vessel has been inspected by Department of Agriculture officers;
  • Don't trade foodstuffs with other overseas vessels;
  • Keep your vessel free of insects.

To go ashore without prior clearance is an offence. Contact with other vessels in port prior to clearance is also prohibited.

Documents required on arrival


The Department of Home Affairs does not levy any charge for clearance. However the Department of Agriculture operates on a full cost recovery basis.


You must declare all personal food, plant and animal items on your Incoming Passenger Card. A Department of Agriculture officer will inspect your galley stores and other biosecurity items to ensure that they do not include prohibited goods or items infested with insects or disease. These could harm Australia's unique environment or introduce plant, animal or human, pests or diseases. Treatable goods will be treated and returned to you. Prohibited goods will be either confiscated, bonded on the vessel for the duration of your stay, or re-exported at the owner's expense.

Vessels with an animal subject to biosecurity must remain at a mid-water mooring and keep the animal secure for the duration of your stay in Australia.

If you declare prohibited items, you may be given the option of re-exporting them. If you do not declare items of biosecurity concern, a substantial on-the-spot fine could be imposed or you could be prosecuted.

For further details on biosecurity issues visit the Department of Agriculture website.

Human health

See threats to public health for more information. 


You must report any drugs on board your craft to the Department on arrival and departure. This includes medications containing narcotics, hallucinogens, amphetamines, barbiturates and tranquillisers in your medical kit. If you use any of these drugs while in Australia you must record this in the craft's logbook. A doctor's prescription may validate certain registered drugs.

WARNING: Penalties for drug offences in Australia are severe and could result in imprisonment.

Firearms and other weapons

All firearms/weapons on your craft must be reported to the Department.

Certain firearms/weapons may be detained in safe storage for transhipment to your intended port of departure (at the Department's expense).

In cases where a firearm/weapon has been detained the Master will be required to contact the Department at least one week prior to departure so that the weapon can be returned.

Duty free allowance


There is no limit on the amount of Australian or foreign cash that may be brought into or taken out of Australia, but travellers carrying AUD 10 000 or more, or the equivalent in foreign currency, must declare this on arrival and departure.

Currency includes notes and coins but does not include traveller's cheques. Reporting is required by law and failure to do so is an offence.

Temporary import of goods

Commercial goods brought into Australia with the intention of being sold are subject to the normal rates of duty and tax where applicable.

Goods, commercial or personal, that are brought into Australia to remain temporarily may be admitted duty and tax-free, subject to certain conditions.

Carnets may be obtained for temporary duty free entry of goods such as commercial samples, jewellery, goods for international exhibitions, equipment for sporting events, professional television and film equipment.

For more information on importing goods