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Why do Australia allow airline passengers bring food with them?

  • 28-04-2023 6:29pm
    Registered Users Posts: 8,824 ✭✭✭

    Just thinking of the tv show border control set in an Australia airport, every episode there is at least 1 family from India or China etc trying to bring in half a supermarket of food with them. Then the airport staff have to sort through the food, certain food is allowed and certain things like diary isn't allowed I think.

    They fine the passengers for bringing in banned food.

    The food like diary and meat are supposedly a huge threat to Australia's biodiversity so why do they allow passengers bring in any food? 🙄

    Just ban all food items and then the airport staff don't have to sort through suitcases of food and the Countries biodiversity isn't destroyed because some passenger is so tight they cant just go to an Australian supermarket and buy some food wtf?


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,416 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    Have a think about this bit again, and see if there is a possible flaw.

    Just ban all food items and then the airport staff don't have to sort through suitcases. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 105 ✭✭Patches oHoulihan

    Just ban all suitcases and be done with it

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,765 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    just ban suitcases! just shut down the airports, let them walk across the water with their weird foods!

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,416 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    If you ban suitcases, they will eat the food and bring it in that way.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,773 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    So skipping past the ridiculousness of getting every airline passenger to open their suitcase at the boarding gate, there's also the legal aspects of trying to enforce one countries import laws on the territory of another

    Australia would essentially need to get other nations to allow them to put customs checkpoints in their airports. This isn't entirely heard of, you go through US customs in Dublin for example, but Australia has a lot of flights to other countries so it would be difficult to pull off politically

    There's also an element of how pedantic nations are about importing foodstuffs. For example, I could probably buy an egg sandwich in Dublin after going through US customs and eat it in the US, even though brown eggs are illegal there

    Australia tends to be very uptight about bringing food in. Some of this is well founded but I think a lot of it is BS. Stopping vegetables or meats which might have bacteria or insects hiding is one thing, but processed dairy isn't much of a threat

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,427 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    Bear in mind whilst they wont admit it Aus is Chinas little bitch with the amount of trade they do with China. Why do you think they were one of the few countries not to have a recession after 2008. Would't want to be upsetting them now. If paddy was caught with a few sausages at the airport there would be trouble.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,847 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

     I could probably buy an egg sandwich in Dublin after going through US customs and eat it in the US

    No you can't. A friend of mine spent a while with CBP for a banana they got on the plane over.

    Ever country protects it's borders from threats, look at the issues the UK has now trying to import food to the EU. But a country isn't going to stop someone taking something legal from their country out, it's not their job to enforce other countries bio security. Countries could start fining airlines for bio security breaches like they do for carrying people who don't have leave to enter the country, but then who'd take a 6+ hour flight without food?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,215 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    I brought a cheese and coleslaw sandwich with me to New Zealand, via LAX, a long time ago. Sniffer dog in New Zealand found it and I had to dispose of it. 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,773 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Fair point, I once brought 800 teabags into the US for a friend who was spending a year there without any issues. I reckon once US customs figured out it was tea and nothing else they figured I was too dumb to be worth yelling at 😂

    You're 100% correct that countries only care about what's coming in and not what's going out, so they're unlikely to do anything on Australia's behalf unless there's some treaty there

    Airlines and airports won't touch that kind of stuff unless there's some safety risk. And legally I'm not sure they can do it, you'd need actual customs agents to perform the search and seizure

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,773 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    It was probably a bit gone off by then to be fair! 😉

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,544 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Passengers knowingly try smuggle food as they cannot buy it in Australia or the cost of it there is too high.

    The "x-ray" scanners easily detect food especially in the volumes shown on tv.

    They even ban bananas handed out on the plane over the ocean, so you can't even bring off the airline food.

    In terms of start country banning food, I presume Chinese outgoing security are more worried about explosives, dangerous goods like guns and lithium batteries and items that should have taxes.

    They should force the airlines to clearly display no food allowed in baggage at time of online check in and ticket issue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,847 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    IIRC tea bags are allowed into most countries once they are commercial products.

    There are signs all the way to the quarantine sections saying to declare or bin food, with lots of bins available, the people are trying to smuggle the food they aren't forgetting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,149 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    It was the coleslaw that caught him out.

    Plain cheese sandwich and chunky kit kat for me no matter where I'm going.

    Also helps if you eat the evidence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,340 ✭✭✭✭bodhrandude

    I think that same Australian series is also called Nothing to Declare, National Geographic show similar docs based on airport security in Peru, its fecking nuts the amount of folk trying to smuggle in Cocaine.

    If you want to get into it, you got to get out of it. (Hawkwind 1982)

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,184 ✭✭✭standardg60

    I once brought 2000 cigarettes into Vegas, got yelled at for a good 10 minutes (they do like a good yell). After he'd ran out of breath I was allowed on my way, cigarettes an all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,824 ✭✭✭pgj2015

    As another poster said, the scanners can alert the airport staff to food, no need to check every suitcase. Then hit the passenger with a huge fine, word will eventually get out and that should prevent other morons bringing food into Australia.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    Any food you buy after "US Customs" in Dublin or Shannon has been approved for sale and consumption in the USA.

    In a way, once you have gone past passport and customs control you are on US territory.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,969 ✭✭✭✭ejmaztec

    I think it'd be a different conclusion taking cigarettes into Aus. They allow one opened packet and one unopened packet up to 25 cigarettes in each. I don't know what the policy would be for someone taking an unopened packet of 27 from Ireland, and an open one. You'd have to open the 27 packet and take two out, and then you'd probably be in trouble for taking two opened packets in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,713 ✭✭✭Balmed Out

    Brown eggs aren't illegal in the USA just kinder eggs. I've not tried but as far as I know kinder egg sandwiches are not sold in Dublin airport.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,184 ✭✭✭standardg60

    Looking at border control I'd agree, but it would be fun trying.

    Funnily enough coming back from Vegas was the only time I've ever been approached and stopped by customs in Dublin and questioned about the cigs so I reckon the US alerted them. Once I told them how many I had I was allowed on my way.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,325 ✭✭✭cuttingtimber22

    Are brown eggs illegal in the US? Why? White eggs are just racist.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,646 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    Actually Australia told China to get stuffed in several different ways over the past few years, as a consequence the delightful country let thousands of live rock lobsters/crayfish die on their docks because they decided to suddenly not allow their import. They also raised tarrifs on Australian wine, barley and coal. This was all after Australia said there should be an international enquiry into the source of Covid and other things like taking steps to counter Chinese domestic influence.

    The Chinese also retaliated by disuading students from studying in Australia. The Chinese have also been upset that Australia cracked down on their spies/agents and prevented them from joining political parties and running for office. The Chinese also got upset when Australia called for the removal of certain Chinese brands of CCTV cameras from all public buildings.

    The Chinese got upset that Australia formed a security pact with the UK and US, called Aukus, which is specifically designed to counter Chinas aggresive military expansion and influence peddling in the Asia Pacific region.

    Australia's military frequently carries out freedom of navigation exercises in the south China sea which they claim as theirs but which others don't recognise, via naval vessels and long range patrol aircraft. These exercises have angered the Chinese so much they have several times sent their naval vessels and fighter aircraft to dangerously harass the Australian ships and aircraft, including temporarily blinding their crew with military lasers.

    I suspect you haven't a clue what you are talking about. Australia is not China's bitch and has stood up to them to the point of a 40% fall in trade that cost AU$3 billion.

    It's the Chinese who caved on these disputes. There were several ships moored off their coast laden with coal, which due to the energy crisis and prices rocketing, they quitely allowed to dock and off-load their cargos last year. Now they are trying to mend fences, because they failed to make Australia their bitch.

    Australia’s economic and diplomatic relations with China are in recovery mode, with tensions over issues ranging from foreign investment to security receding as Beijing tamps down its punitive efforts to bend one of its key commodity suppliers to its will.

    Read that article if you still think Australia kow-tows to China.

  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Baasterd

    Once brought Honey into NZ from Australia...they go nuts about it because of contamination or other bs the irony was this honey was from bees on Kangaroo Island they are some of the purest breed bee's in the world. So NZ was saying we don't want your fancy honey here lol.

    But the border guard acted like I was taking in coke. She seemed very unhappy when I immediately asked ok how much to pay ha. Funny enough they only found one small jar not the massive tub and all the shells/coral etc.

    But yeah the lads down there do be sensitive to the odd cheese sandwich.

  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Baasterd

    Australia has been leading the pushback on China and helping the rest with understanding the Chinese threat for years, so yeah your spot on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,773 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    AFAIK eggs are white in the US because they bleach the shell white. They're illegal here because of that and I believe the US doesn't allow unbleached eggs

    Although that might be for sale, not sure they'd arrest a farmer for eating freshly laid eggs from him chickens

    Then again this is America we're talking about, they'd probably shoot the farmer 14 times

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,713 ✭✭✭Balmed Out

    They do clean eggs before sale but egg colour comes from the colour of the bird and lots of places sell brown eggs in the USA. Think just the cheapest factory ones tend to be white.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,554 ✭✭✭✭BorneTobyWilde

    I think the question the OP is trying to ask, is why is it allowed as luggage when boarding the flight, even with an Australian airline, flying from say China to Australia, its all allowed to pass through security no problem, and only in Australia will they stop it, I think with everything it's all about the money.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,824 ✭✭✭pgj2015

    Yes, they can hand out big fines but is it worth the risk to Australia's biodiversity?

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,646 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    Boarding security is all about the safety of the flight, not the border security at the end of the flight. It's just not their job. Also, food can be consumed on the flight.

    I once rocked up in Oz with my son and a beagle fingered my son's bag. They searched it and found nothing, because I made sure the ham sandwich that was in it got eaten thousands of km before arriving.

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