Schoolies warning – know before you go

The Australian Border Force (ABF) is reminding school leavers who are heading overseas to celebrate to be aware of what can and cannot be brought back into the country on their return.

As thousands of school leavers prepare to mark the annual rite of passage, students travelling internationally need to be aware of the rules before they travel.

ABF Port Operations Command, Acting Assistant Commissioner Claire Rees, said there are significant penalties for bringing back restricted items that could ruin peoples’ end of school celebrations.

“Those travelling overseas for Schoolies may think items such as laser pointers, flick knives, and shock devices make nice souvenirs or gifts, but if you are caught bringing them back into Australia, they could cost you more than you bargained for.”

“For example, bringing illegal laser pointers into Australia can lead to a fine of up to $210,000, and those who try to import these items into Australia from overseas, or order over the internet, need to be aware that they risk breaking the law,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Rees said.

During 2017-18, ABF officers seized a range of prohibited goods in airports across Australia including illicit drugs, performance and image enhancing drugs and dangerous weapons such as firearms, knives, knuckle-dusters and BB guns.

“Many of these items are legal in some countries, but they can be incredibly dangerous and are restricted in Australia, so people really need to do their research,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Rees said.

“If you bring in these items, you may face prosecution and it could negatively impact your chances to work for certain employers and in certain professions, travel to and work in certain countries.”

“We hope everyone who’s finishing Year 12 has fun – but we also want them to be mindful that one mistake can have far reaching consequences.”

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