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Sorrel talks about quarantine rules.
Sorrel talks about quarantine rules.

Quarantine

Thursday, June 28, 2001
We get lots of e-mails asking for tips on what you can and can't bring through customs - so here's the scoop!

We get lots of e-mails asking for tips on what you can and can't bring through customs. This week's letter comes from intrepid traveller, Alex Crammond, who is going to be travelling through some remote parts of Asia and wants to know what to look out for when she's shopping.

It's surprising what people try to bring into Australia — homemade Giant African Snail curry; dog stewed in turtle juice — just two of the more amazing things our alert quarantine officials have uncovered.

When shopping, keep in mind that you must declare anything made from plant or animal material, so that means seeds and nuts, the edible and decorative kinds. This includes seeds and nuts used to make necklaces and ornaments. Declare anything made of wood, rawhide (such as drums) and treated skins or hides.

Shells and coral must be declared, as must feathers, bones, horns and tusks. Some things may be prohibited under international wildlife legislation.

If you can't live without the tribal mask or wood carving from a Sarawak market, check it as best you can, put it at the top of your bag and make sure you DECLARE it.

When you are shopping, look closely at wooden items for holes, sawdust or any sign of insect life.

If you are even slightly in doubt about anything, declare it. Chances are it will be all right, but if your mask or wood carving needs treatment, quarantine officers will carry that out and it will be returned to you.

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